WASHINGTON, D.C.----Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement today in response to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's (NBAC) report to the president of the United States on the cloning of a human being:
"We applaud and fully support the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's (NBAC) recommendation that the President oppose the cloning of a human being. On the same day of the 'Dolly' cloning announcement in Scotland in February of this year, BIO was the first industry organization to publicly oppose the cloning of a human being."
"Our industry is dedicated to curing disease and improving agriculture, and as we stated then, and as we still believe, we see no ethical reason for an experiment with the cloning of a human that would justify the risk."
"In terms of implementing this recommendation, BIO had suggested to NBAC that an indefinite continuation of President Clinton's moratorium on the cloning of a human would be effective and stated that our industry would honor such a moratorium."
"NBAC's call for enactment of a Federal legislative ban to bar human cloning will require great precision to prevent any inadvertent restrictions on vital ongoing medical research. The biotech industry strongly believes, along with the broader medical research community, that we must continue to clone genes and cells--techniques that do not lead to the development of a human child. These techniques are critical to the discovery of new cures and therapies, including, for example, the regeneration of damaged spinal cord and bone tissue for accident victims, and skin for burn victims. We are concerned that an imprecise bill might impede, this or hinder vital, ongoing biomedical research."
"This industry pledges to work with NBAC, Congress and the administration on any legislation to ensure that it supports the continuation of responsible medical innovation," Feldbaum added.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents over 720 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers in 47 states and more than 20 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.