Share via Email Human cloning will be banned in Britain - the first country to do so - in a move calculated to allay ethical fears about how rapidly genetic science is advancing, the government announced today. The number of specialist consultants in genetics in England is to double in the next five years and two new national laboratories dedicated to researching new treatments and tests for genetic disorders are to be established. In his first major speech on genetics, the health secretary Alan Milburn, said he would lay to rest the "twin spectres" of human cloning and a genetics underclass caused by insurance firms discriminating against people with a higher genetic risk of certain diseases. New laws to comprehensively ban all forms of human cloning are to be introduced and there is to be a moratorium on the use of genetic tests by insurance companies.
Print Deep divisions within the international community, fed by religious views, economic interests and U. Nearly all countries agree that reproductive cloning, or the creation of an identical human being through asexual reproductive methods, should be banned.
More than countries have no law on the books that bars reproductive cloning, including many—like the United States—which have the scientific resources and facilities necessary to produce a human clone.
In the absence of either national laws or an international agreement outlawing the procedure, researchers are developing techniques around the world—in South America and Asia —that could be used for reproductive cloning.
In Europeseveral countries have adopted laws banning reproductive cloning, but research continues, while in Israelwhich has adopted a five year ban on the procedure, scientists work with little oversight and can easily transport the products of their research abroad.
Despite the ongoing scientific advances, there has been little progress on adopting international agreements outlawing the procedure, according to dozens of diplomats contacted by the Center for Public Integrity. The global rift on the issue was clearly evident when the U.
General Assembly's Legal Committee voted last November to delay any decision on the issue, after a contentious debate that was marked by a flurry of lobbying. The General Assembly's Legal Committee is scheduled to take up the issue again on October 21, but diplomats involved in past discussions and others who have closely followed the U.
A group of nations, led by the United States and Costa Rica, want a total ban on human cloning. Their view is in sync with the Vatican, which has also called for a comprehensive ban.
Costa Rica is planning to submit a revised proposal calling for a total ban on cloning research, including research for therapeutic purposes. That echoes an earlier proposal the country filed with the U.
Another group of more than two dozen countries, including Belgium, Germany, France and Britain, wants to limit the ban to just reproductive cloning. These nations favor the regulation of research cloning, which they think should be left for individual countries. If they vote to defeat the beginning of negotiations, we won't have negotiations.
If the vote is to start negotiations on a total ban, then nothing will come out of it either—except a convention ratified by a few states. But [there will be] no universal convention. It will be a gimmick. Congress have stalled because of a similar divide on the issue of research cloning.
American overreach Global efforts to prohibit human cloning began in after British scientist Ian Wilmut announced the birth of Dolly; the sheep was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. The declaration, which is not binding, was endorsed by the General Assembly. The United Nations took up the issue inat the behest of France and Germany—the first time, according to many U.
The two countries said a U. The Vatican, which has an observer status at the United Nations, was the first to propose that the convention be expanded to include a ban on research cloning as well. The Catholic Church considers embryos as human beings and is opposed to all research on embryos.
Several scientists and diplomats blamed the United States for the U. They said the American insistence on a comprehensive ban—and that of Costa Rica, its main ally on the issue—makes any universally accepted treaty banning just reproductive cloning unlikely, despite a strong consensus in favor of outlawing the practice.
Yumiko Iuchi, an advisor to Japan's U. I think it's a great shame that that is happening.
In the past, the U. Senate, which has the constitutional power to ratify or reject treaties a president signs, has voted down some conventions the United States helped advance. A well publicized example is the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a convention that bans nuclear weapons tests, which has not been approved by the United States.
There are those that see U. All the Bush administration wanted was a convention for its "constituency," the Middle Eastern diplomat said. A White House-backed bill banning all cloning was passed by the House last year, but it remains stalled in the Senate.
See the side story "Perhaps they can use [the U. N convention] as a tool to force a vote within the U. Recently, Cibelli addressed national delegates at the U. The White House did not respond to requests for comment. Diplomats from nations supporting research cloning also pointed out that many of the countries pushing for a complete ban on cloning have themselves no laws or regulations, while many countries that favor a limited ban do.
Britain was among the first countries to prohibit reproductive cloning; other nations such as Germany, France, Belgium, Japan, Singapore and China, which favor regulation of research cloning, have outlawed reproductive cloning. Some nations that opposed a complete ban on the research have already made heavy investments on research cloning and stem cell experiments.
In fact, a growing number of countries see—besides therapeutic promises—great economic potential in embryonic cloning, stem cell research and other related biotechnology research., the National Academies released Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning.
It recommended that the U.S. ban human reproductive cloning aimed at creating a child. It suggested the ban be enforceable and carry substantial penalties. The pa nel noted that the ban should be reconsidered within five years. A New Five-Year Plan for the U.S.
Human Genome Project Collins, Francis; Galas, David () The U.S. Human Genome Project is part of an international effort to develop genetic and physical maps and determine the DNA sequence of the human genome and the genomes of several model organisms.
Most governments across the world have also taken the position that cloning to create a human being should be banned. President Bush has expressed his opposition to any kind of human embryo cloning on numerous occasions. Opponents of research/therapeutic cloning object on both a practical and an ethical basis.
In , when California adopted a five year ban on human reproductive cloning, the legislation required the appointment of an expert . Cloning Report specifically for you. for only $/page. Order Now. However, Krauthammer does not agree with Wolpert. Clinton has banned federal funding of human-cloning research, of which there is none anyway.
He then proposed a five-year ban on cloning. This is not enough. Congress should ban human cloning now. Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry Table of Contents NBAC released its report Cloning Human Beings, "A Ban on Cloning and Cloning Research Is Unjustified," testimony before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, March 14, Macklin, R., .