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EU at Odds over Cloned Animals

EU at Odds over Cloned Animals
Governments resistant to 'de facto' ban on imports.

The European Union's Parliament is demanding that EU governments ban foods produced from the offspring of cloned livestock. But the EU governments have rejected the idea, saying such a step may provoke retaliation by trade partners. The proposal would have blocked $3.5 billion of beef and pork imports.

Gianni Pittela, the legislators' chief negotiator, said in an e-mail that the position of the European Parliament would require drawing a family tree for each slice of cheese or salami. A ban would be unfeasible and incapable of putting an end to cloning of animals, while causing irreparable damage to European agriculture.

No system is in place in the European Union or third countries to track natural offspring of closes, meaning Parliament's proposal would result in a "de facto" ban on imports from outside the bloc. The message concluded that such a ban would be impossible to defend under World Trade Organization rules and would lead to direct retaliatory measures by third countries.

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