The EP had wanted bans on the sale of meat from cloned animals and their offspring and the use of cloning technology to produce food.
The Council and Commission backed a ban on cloning for food production, but rejected a ban on food from offspring, leading MEPs to propose a compromise of labelling clone-derived meat.
Council agreed only to label fresh beef, which MEPs found insufficient given that a 2008 Eurobarometer study shows 63% of EU citizens are unlikely to buy food from cloned animals, while 61% find animal cloning morally wrong.
Currently, there are no EU rules specifically allowing or banning dairy products and meat from cloned animals. The European Commission and Council wanted to regulate the products under the novel foods rules, while MEPs wanted them to be dealt with separately.
The failure of conciliation talks between the EP and Council mean that the 1997 novel food rules remain in force. Foods are considered "novel" if they are derived from new technological processes or if they have no significant history of consumption in the EU. The rules require authorisation for the sale of food from cloned animals, but not its offspring or descendants. There have been no applications so far.