Third clone-linked cow entered food chain

Meat from a third animal descended from a cloned cow has been sold for human consumption, the Food Standards Agency confirmed.

The male calf, a grandchild of a cloned animal, was less than a month old when it was slaughtered on 16 June 2010 and its meat entered the food chain.

“The meat was sold in a butcher’s shop in London and will have been eaten,” said an agency statement.

The agency has now confirmed that meat from three animals entered the food chain without authorisation under the Novel Food Regulations, which covers meat from cloned animals and, according to the FSA, their progeny.

All animals born in the UK from eight embryos produced by a cloned cow in the USA have now been traced.

Four of these embryos were male calves and four were female. All were Holsteins. They were imported in 2006.

The first animal, Dundee Paratrooper, was slaughtered in 2009.

Its meat was sold to consumers via four butchers’ premises in Scotland and a single butcher’s shop in north-east England.

Meat from the second animal, Parable, slaughtered on 5 May 2010 was sent to Belgium. The agency has informed its equivalent in Belgium of this.

One female calf died at less than a month old.

No meat or products from this young animal entered the food chain and its carcass was disposed of in accordance with the law.

The agency said it had received assurances that no milk from the other three dairy cows had entered the food chain.

As part of its investigation, the agency has established that five of the eight animals are known to have had offspring.

All of this next generation remains too young to be milked or to be used for breeding purposes.

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