(WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 1998)...Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today issued the following statement in response to news reports that a Chicago scientist plans to begin work aimed at the cloning of a human being:
"BIO continues to support President Clinton's and the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's (NBAC) moratorium on the cloning of a human being. Cloning a human being poses major ethical and moral questions, as well as deeply troubling medical safety issues. As the NBAC documented at great length, the experience with "Dolly," in which there were 276 unsuccessful attempts before an apparently healthy sheep was born, points to the experimental nature of this technology in animals. It is plainly inappropriate to seek to apply this technique to human beings. While these questions remain unresolved, government and public opposition to the cloning of a human being remains strong. Society needs to be heard and respected on the issue.
At the same time, since the announcement of "Dolly" the sheep last February, the public has come to learn of the benefits of cloning cells, genes and tissues, techniques which have been ongoing for 20 years. While these techniques do not lead to the cloning of a human being, they do have promise, for example, to enable us to regenerate spinal cord tissue for accident victims and skin for burn victims. It is essential that any restrictive legislation which may be adopted by Congress or state legislatures on the cloning of a human being, recognize the biomedical benefits of these existing cloning procedures and protect and encourage them."
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents over 745 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and state biotechnology centers in 46 states and more than 25 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.