WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 11, 1998) Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today issued the following statement after the Senate voted down a proposal to bypass committee hearings and expedite passage of legislation to ban human cloning.
"This vote was a wise move on the Senate's part to give more time for careful deliberation to this morally and scientifically complex legislation," said BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum.
"This is a tremendous victory for biomedical research, but just the opening round in what promises to be a complex legislative process," Feldbaum said. BIO's analysis of the bill, sponsored by Senator Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) and strongly supported by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Tenn.), found that it would criminalize some promising stem cell and other basic research for treatment of Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer, and victims of burns, spinal cord and bone injuries.
BIO was joined in its opposition to the Bond/Lott bill by 27 Nobel Prize winners and a multitude of scientific research and patient advocacy groups.
BIO has supported a moratorium on human cloning and Food and Drug Administration jurisdiction to regulate it. BIO does not believe it is necessary for Congress to enact a law on this subject.
"The biotechnology industry obviously opposes human cloning, but we need to make sure that, if the Congress insists on enacting legislation, it is carefully focused so as to do no collateral damage to biomedical research," BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum said.
BIO represents over 760 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers in 46 states and 25 countries. BIO members are involved in research and development of health care, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.