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Winston misleading public over human cloning

26 October 2000

Winston "misleading public" over human cloning Westminster, 26 October 2000--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is warning Members of Parliament that Lord Winston, the fertility expert, is misleading the public over human cloning. In a memorandum to all MPs, John Smeaton, national director of SPUC, writes: "Lord Winston is on record1 today as saying that so-called therapeutic cloning does not involve making another human being. This is dangerous nonsense. Human cloning involves the same technique as that used to create Dolly the sheep, in whose case at least 277 embryos were created, most of which were destroyed. "The European Parliament has warned of the danger of 'linguistic sleight of hand to erode the moral significance of human cloning'2 and I fear that this is an instance of just such a misleading use of words. "Lord Winston also says that he cannot see why people are feeling threatened by cloning for reproductive purposes. The reason people feel threatened is that human cloning for so-called "therapeutic" purposes and for reproductive purposes involves treating human beings as commodities to be ordered or disposed of at will. "All human cloning involves the creation of a new human being who will either be used for experiments or attempts might be made to develop the technology which leads to the birth of cloned babies. "It is vital that MPs do not take their moral lead from Lord Winston." SPUC's warnings come as Members of Parliament are preparing to consider a bill to legalise therapeutic cloning. Dr Evan Harris's 10-minute rule bill is on the Commons order paper for next Tuesday (the 31st). 1 interview with Steve Boggan, , 26 October 2000 2 resolution on human cloning, PE 293.798

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