Full stomachs and short memories in Europe

Hoard's Dairyman: 

Full stomachs and short memories in Europe

Fri, 10/22/2010

Memo to Chile: Don’t seal up that mine just yet.

“Hide and Ignore” appears to be a political strategy across the Atlantic, where the 27-member European Commission has proposed a five-year ban on animal cloning in food production, despite its own scientific advisory group’s repeated findings.

The Commission is the European Union’s executive body which drafts proposals for new laws and manages the day-to-day business of implementing policies for the 27 E.U. member nations. In the case of the October 19 proposal it also qualifies as an Ignorance Perpetuation Board.

Like the Luddite uprising two centuries ago that rebelled against the Industrial Revolution’s threat to old ways of life, the ban seems to be an attempt to isolate Europe from a changing world. Unfortunately, in doing so it perpetuates consumer ignorance and validates misperceptions about science and advances in food production. Saddest of all, it forgets about the widespread starvation and food shortages that gripped much of Europe during and after both World Wars.

The cloning ban was proposed even though:

• The Commission said it will continue to allow imports of food from clones.
• It admits the origins of such products could not be traced anyway.
• In 2008, 2009, and 2010, its own European Food Safety Authority said no differences exist for milk and meat from clones and their offspring compared to conventional animals.
• Similar food safety bodies in the U.S., New Zealand and Japan have reached the same conclusion.
• Commercial cloning entities already exist in at least eight different countries around the world.

But if “Hide and Ignore” is what the European Commissioners are determined to do, then there’s a deep hole available in Chile where all 27 of them can do it really well.