Blog: A souring of confidence

Michelle Russell | 4 August 2010

A furore erupted in the UK earlier this week after an anonymous UK farmer told the International Herald Tribune that he was producing milk from a cow bred from a clone as part of his daily milk output.

It has since been confirmed by the Food Standards Agency that meat from the offspring of another cloned cow entered the food chain in the UK last year.

And, while experts have been quick to reassure the public that there is no evidence of health risks from the cloned animal meat, after the BSE crisis in the 1990s, it seems understandable that consumers want to know more about the food they are eating.

In the US, the equivalent of the FSA, the Food and Drug Administration, gave the green light to the production and marketing of foods derived from cloned pigs, cattle and goats and their offspring back in 2008.

But in the UK, meat from cloned animals is still illegal as it is classed as a "novel food".

So while the BSE break-out resulted in a crash in consumer confidence, this latest crisis will refuel anxiety among some consumers over what's in our food.

The UK newspaper the Telegraph has a cartoonist called Matt who has a unique gift for getting to the heart of how an issue is viewed over here. Here is his latest on the cloned milk issue.


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