Cloned cows

August 05, 2010, 1:14 AM GMT+0

Nearly half (45%) of the British public say that they would not personally be happy to eat or drink food products from a cloned animal, compared to only 34% who would, a poll has discovered.

The results come after claims emerged this week that milk is on sale in Britain from cloned cows. Using cloned cows for meat or milk in the UK would be illegal without permission from the European Food Safety Authority, and currently there have not been any applications. However, in the USA it has been cleared as safe to eat.

Interestingly, women seem more opposed to eating cloned meat, with 52% saying that they would not be happy to eat food from cloned animals, compared to 39% of men. In fact, turning the results on their head, almost double the amount of men (45%) said that they would be happy to eat such meat compared to women (23%).

Younger adults seem to be less worried about the origins of their meat, as the over 60s are more against the suggestion of using cloned animals, with 45% actively objecting compared to 39% of 18-24 year olds. In fact, 18 to 24 year olds are completely split, with 39% also feeling happy to personally condone the practice.

Cloning animals has been a much debated topic since the birth of Dolly the Sheep in 1996. The subject will surely continue to elicit strong emotions, as it remains to be seen whether animals like Dolly will one day become acceptable sources of food for the British public.

Survey details and full results