Washington, D.C. (Aug. 7, 2001) - In response to today's discussion at the National Academy of Sciences panel discussion, "Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning," the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) reiterates its unequivocal opposition to planned human reproductive cloning experiments.
"Those of us who have testified before Congress on BIO's behalf regarding this issue have stated repeatedly that reproductive cloning is untested, unsafe and morally repugnant," said Carl B. Feldbaum, president of BIO.
"While we may know identical twins in our everyday lives, we have not sorted out the ramifications and implications of genetically identical individuals in different generations - for example, a grandmother and granddaughter.
"BIO does, however, support therapeutic applications of cloning of cells and tissues - techniques that would not result in cloned children but could produce treatments and cures for some of humanity's most vexing diseases and disabilities, especially, and most immediately, diabetes and Parkinson's disease," said Feldbaum.
Congress this year has considered legislation that would ban all cloning, including therapeutic cloning, and, alternatively, legislation that would ban only reproductive cloning. BIO continues to support the latter proposal, as it would prevent the performance on U.S. soil of experiments such as the one described today, while allowing research on potential therapies to continue.
BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.