Cloning is a process that produces genetically identical individuals without genetic modification.
Over the years, scientists developed different reproductive methods for cloning, including the somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) which can be used to duplicate rare, valuable, or high performing animals.
Cloning of farmed animals and products thereof is regulated by the Council Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. Member States can adopt measures for cloned animals, offspring and products thereof as well as for germinal products in compliance with the relevant EU rules.
In 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a scientific opinion on Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare and Environmental Impact of Animals derived from Cloning by SCNT.
In terms of food safety, food from clones falls under the scope of the "Novel Food Regulation" as a novel production technique and is subject to authorisation. Animal products from their offspring do not fall under this Regulation. They are subject to the hygiene Regulations (EC) No 852/2004 and 853/2004.
No application concerning products from cloned animals has been received since this Novel Food Regulation entered into force in January 2018.