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Busquin pushes for global ban on human cloning

On 8 January, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin again expressed his total support for the creation of a global convention banning human reproductive cloning. His statement follows claims by US company Clonaid that the world's first cloned babies have been born. Many expe...

On 8 January, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin again expressed his total support for the creation of a global convention banning human reproductive cloning. His statement follows claims by US company Clonaid that the world's first cloned babies have been born. Many experts doubt the validity of the company's claims, on the basis that they will not allow DNA tests to be carried out on the two babies concerned. 'Human reproductive cloning must be condemned not only on ethical and moral grounds, but also because it is scientifically irresponsible: our experiences of animal cloning reveal the enormous uncertainties and risks associated with cloning,' Mr Busquin said. The Commissioner pointed out that the practice of human cloning directly contravenes article three of the EU charter of fundamental rights, and that all research in the area is excluded from the Commission's framework programmes for research. Under the Sixth Framework Programme, the EU refuses to finance any project that aims to produce human clones, permanently modify the hereditary human gene, or produce human embryos solely for the purposes of research or as a source of stem cells. The Council of Europe's convention on human rights and biomedicine strictly opposes human reproductive cloning, as does the European group on ethics in science. Japan recently stated its desire to cooperate with other countries to create an international treaty outlawing the practice.

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