EP Press Release, 29 March 2011
All-night conciliation talks to update the Novel Foods Regulation broke down without agreement after Council refused a final compromise offer from the European Parliament. This means that the current Novel Foods Regulation, adopted in 1997, will remain in force.
Chair of the European Parliament delegation Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT) and Parliament's Novel Foods rapporteur Kartika Liotard (GUE/NGL, NL) issued the following joint statement:
"It is deeply frustrating that Council would not listen to public opinion and support urgently needed measures to protect consumer and animal welfare interests.
"Parliament had overwhelmingly called for a ban on food from cloned animals and their descendants (see EP press release 7 July 2011). We made a huge effort to compromise but we were not willing to betray consumers on their right to know whether food comes from animals bred using clones. Since European public opinion is overwhelmingly against cloning for food, (see Eurobarometer survey) a commitment to label all food products from cloned offspring is a bare minimum. Council would only assure its support to label one type of product: fresh beef.
"Measures regarding clone offspring are absolutely critical because clones are commercially viable only for breeding, not directly for food production. No farmer would spend €100,000 on a cloned bull, only to turn it into hamburgers.
"Council furthermore opposed Parliament's right to veto new additions to the novel foods list. Its failure to compromise means that other valuable improvements to the rules are now lost. There will continue to be no special measures regarding nanomaterials in food, for example."