An obligation to label food based on whether it is derived from clone offspring would require all livestock animals to be assigned an individual identity and have their parentage and clone status recorded. Significant investment in data systems would be required to record and transfer the information. Additional costs that could reach beyond €800 million a year would be incurred. Almost 80% of these costs would fall on the pig sector. The costs would arise even if there were no clones used in the European Union’s livestock production sector or that of its trading partners. Costs are also insensitive to the definition of clone offspring and the number of animals that fall within it. Claims for clone ancestry based on a documented system alone would not be verifiable. A universal system of DNA profiling could potentially provide verification but at a cost that could reach over €9 billion a year on the basis of the assumptions used here. Such a DNA sampling and storage or profiling system would be without precedent in scale and complexity. There is no known use of the cloning technique in the EU for farming purposes and no expectation of increased uptake of the technique in the immediate future.
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