BIO Statement of Support for Legislation to Ban Human Reproductive Cloning

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 21, 2005) -- Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) president Jim Greenwood released the following statement today in support of the introduction of The Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act of 2005:

“BIO strongly supports the efforts of Senators Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, Dianne Feinstein, Ted Kennedy and Tom Harkin to ban human reproductive cloning while safeguarding the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT or therapeutic cloning) for research.

“BIO has long advocated a ban on human reproductive cloning as unsafe and unethical. The majority of Americans agree.

“When used for research, however, SCNT holds great potential to improve our scientific understanding of cellular development.  It could also be used to develop new stem cell lines for the study of genetic diseases, to increase the genetic diversity of available stem cell lines, and to develop new ways of deriving genetically matched embryonic stem cells that can be used to create cell and tissue transplants to treat diseases and injuries afflicting millions of Americans.

“Patients and their families need our nation’s scientists to be able to pursue this promising avenue of research.  It would be irresponsible of us to shut down this research, denying hope and preventing medical advancement.”

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.