April 30, 2002 (Washington, D.C.)-Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement today regarding the introduction of a bill to ban human reproductive cloning:
"Senators Specter, Feinstein, Hatch and Kennedy have thoughtfully weighed the tremendous therapeutic potential of somatic cell nuclear transfer technology and have concluded-as have 40 Nobel laureates, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, and other leading scientific and patient organizations-that we must ban reproductive applications of this technology, but move ahead with therapeutic research that could produce revolutionary therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, spinal-cord injuries, diabetes, heart disease and other debilitating conditions.
"I am confident that the day will come when embryonic stem cell research will be hailed as a milestone in modern regenerative medicine, and that this legislation will be viewed as key to its responsible development. BIO fully supports this bill.
"Our opposition to S. 1899, the Brownback bill, remains adamant. That bill would ban therapeutic as well as reproductive applications of nuclear transfer. Because the Brownback bill goes too far-threatening scientists and patients with up to 10 years in prison for pursuing medical research and treatment-we once again urge the Senate to reject it."
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.