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Cloning Of Humans Heralds A Sci-Fi Future

GE Free New Zealand
www.gefree.org.nz


GE Free NZ in food and environment Press Release 26.11.01

Cloning of humans heralds a sci-fi future. Human values challenged by spectre of medical-murder and eugenics

The news today that human embryos have been successfully cloned by Advanced Cell Technology raises ethical concerns around the world. The statement of the company as follows 'They're only cellular life. They're not human life.’whilst agreeing with an interviewer that somatic cell nuclear transfer would leave the door open to full clone production is worryingly ambiguous.

There are serious questions raised about the regulation of this kind of research. What are the criteria to be used in any decision as to when that cellular life becomes human? Will it be similar to New Zealand Animal Ethics Committee rulings which do not allow for a cloned animal to be considered alive (for statistical or any other purpose) until halfway through its gestation?

If these criteria were applied to humans it would mean that babies would be downgraded to 'cellular life' until 20 weeks before becoming defined as human and counted in the statistics", said Susie Lees of GE-Free NZ. "There is an urgent need to legislate on these issues or there is a terrible risk of controversial experiments being legitimised on human foetuses."

Diane Yates comment today that legislation is ‘more important than GM plants’ must also be reviewed in full knowledge that human genes are now being added to plants eg. tobacco plants with human genes have been grown in Virginia.

Medical justifications for the US cloning experiments are also being challenged. A report from the Institute of Science in Society (www. i-sis.org) has already indicated successful stem-cell research that does not require the production of human embryos to be "mined for their stem cells" as one commentator described the process.

The spectre of eugenics is also raised by the cloning experiments. The acceptance of medical-justified destruction and manipulation will pave the way for the creation and manipulation of humans with traits to order, again in the name of medical science.

"Our children, already fed a diet of clones and starwars, are being prepared for a future where this becomes an acceptable thing to do and humans will become the property of the highest bidder." Said Ms Lees.

ENDS
For more info:-
Susie Lees-03 546 7966


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