WASHINGTON, D.C. - (July 30, 2001) - Today Biotechnology Industry Organization President Carl B. Feldbaum released the following statement at a press conference called by Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.) and Rep. James Greenwood (R-Pa.) in support of legislation that bans human reproductive cloning while continuing vital therapeutic cloning research:
"I'd like to express the biotechnology industry's strong support of the
'Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001,' H.R. 2608, sponsored by Reps. James Greenwood and Peter Deutsch.
"This bill is a thoughtful piece of legislation that strikes a careful
balance between banning an unsafe and unethical application of technology - while allowing critical scientific research to continue.
"Many of us here today can agree that using cloning technology for human reproductive purposes is morally repugnant - it is also dangerous.
"It took scientists more than 270 attempts to create the ovine breakthrough known as Dolly. It would be unethical and reprehensible to apply those odds to humans - and those so-called scientists who claim they can and will are frankly an insult to responsible medical research.
"However, in the quest to prohibit the cloning of a human being, it is
critical that we protect the appropriate and important uses of cloning technology.
"The National Institutes of Health recently recognized that cloning
technology could help unleash the full potential of stem cell research.
"At the intersection of these two fields - cloning technology and stem
cell research - may lie the creation of insulin-secreting cells for diabetics, nervous system tissue for spinal cord injury victims and a variety of other treatments for devastating illnesses, including Parkinson's disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and various cancers.
"The 'Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001,' introduced by Reps. Greenwood and Deutsch, bans all human reproductive cloning but allows the use of cloning technology for therapeutic research. This is not knee-jerk legislation - it is wise and balanced legislation, which has the strong support of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, numerous scientific and medical groups as well as the significant and vital support of many patient organizations.
"Legislators who show fortitude in making delicate decisions that affect medical progress and human ethics - legislators such as Reps. Greenwood and Deutsch - deserve our support. They have taken the time to thoroughly
examine critical scientific issues, and develop balanced legislation that protects our ethics and our science.
"H.R. 2608 deserves Congressional support."
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.
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