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Government Needs to Come Clean on Human Cloning

www.gefree.org.nz

Government Needs to Come Clean on Human Reproductive Cloning
28.11.02

Continuing claims by cloning advocates Severino Antinori and the UFO worshipping cult group the Raellians that they have women close to giving birth to the first cloned human beings has highlighted the need for the government to put in place a permanent ban on human reproductive cloning in New Zealand.

GE Free NZ spokesperson on Transhuman Eugenics Tremane Barr has pointed out that though the last round of amendments to HSNO Act put in place a temporary ban on human reproductive cloning this is due to run out in the middle of 2003.

“The government must act now with a new amendment to the HSNO Act to ensure that no one is given the opportunity to try and clone human beings in New Zealand next year or forever. As hard as it is for people to comprehend that we are no longer talking about science fiction, but science fact, that people can be cloned, we must ensure that this dangerous and abhorrent practice can never be carried out in New Zealand.” said Mr Barr.

The United Nations has decided to delay until September 2003 a decision about the scope of a treaty to ban human cloning. A proposal by France and Germany to begin negotiations on a treaty that would ban reproductive cloning, to be followed by consideration of a treaty addressing research cloning, was supported by at least 75 countries. However, it was opposed by at least 35 countries, led by the United States and Spain, that called for reproductive cloning and research cloning to be considered simultaneously.

Both Germany and France ban cloning for any purpose at the domestic level, but they proposed an international treaty that would address only reproductive cloning in order to allow quick action. Positions on research cloning vary widely among nations but countries are unanimous in their opposition to reproductive cloning.

In related developments, the European Parliament has recently voted 271-154 to support the US-Spain position regarding an international cloning treaty, calling for a ban on both research and reproductive cloning. This vote, however, is not binding on European Union governments but could be influential. While in September the state of California approved legislation making reproductive cloning a crime. Violators of the new California law can be fined up to $1 million or double the amount of financial gain from cloning and will lose their professional licenses.

“There is no need for the government to wait until an international treaty banning human cloning is negotiated through the United Nations. Just as others have taken the responsible common sense position to permanently outlaw human reproductive cloning so to must the New Zealand government.”

In its recent submission to the Ministry for the Environments on its HSNO discussion paper GE Free NZ published its declaration for the preservation of the human species. This calls on the government to ban human cloning and inheritable genetic modification (designer human beings) and to develop publicly accountable, effective, ethical, moral and spiritually appropriate law for the regulation of all other human genetic technologies

“People have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that scientists are at the precipice of changing forever what it means to be human through cloning and genetically engineering designer human beings. Even to the point where it is potentially possible to create a new human species, the GenRich. We must pull back before it is too late and ban these technologies now both in New Zealand and through an international treaty with the United Nations” said Tremane Barr.


Contact details:

Phone: Tremane Barr (03) 981 5235

GE Free New Zealand
In Food And Environment Inc.
PO Box 693, Nelson
gefree@ts.co.nz

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