• Kyodo News


Beef and pork made from somatic cell-cloned cows, pigs and their offspring are as safe as those produced from conventionally bred animals, the Food Safety Commission said in a report Thursday.

The Food Safety Commission, a seven-member body controlled by the Cabinet Office that undertakes risk assessment and is independent of the farm and health ministries, will submit the report to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, officials said.

The health ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will look at the panel’s report and decide whether to allow products from cloned animals to enter the market, they said.

However, the ban on such products is not expected to be lifted immediately because of persistent opposition from several groups.

Japanese producers and dealers have imposed a voluntary ban on distributing domestically produced beef and pork products made from cloned animals in response to a request from the farm ministry.

No such products have been reported as being sold on the market yet.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in January 2008 that products from cloned cows, pigs and goats are as safe for human consumption as products from conventionally bred animals. The European Food Safety Authority later followed the United States.

Following the moves in the U.S. and Europe, the Food Safety Commission launched studies on cloned animal products in April 2008.

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