Cloned babies inevitable outcome of British lead on embryo cloning
5 August 2001
Cloned babies "inevitable outcome" of British lead on embryo cloning Westminster, 5 August 2001--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) today said that moves by Professor Severino Antinori of Rome to produce cloned babies were the inevitable outcome of the promotion of cloning for therapeutic purposes by British scientists and politicians. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "Human cloning for reproductive purposes will create a genetic underclass. Although people who are produced through cloning will be as human as the rest of us, there is always a risk they will be stigmatised because of the way in which they came to be. "As experience with animals has shown, cloning is a notoriously dangerous process. Developmental abnormalities are commonplace and many embryos are lost during the process. In the case of human cloning, these will be real people who are discarded as part of this sinister manipulation of the otherwise natural reproductive process. "In March, Professor Antinori applauded the Blair government when it pushed through regulations to permit research on cloned embryos. Without Britain's lead on therapeutic cloning, Professor Antinori's plans for reproductive cloning would not have been feasible. The two techniques share many key aspects. "It is very dangerous when scientists' professional bodies, biotechnology companies and other interest groups seem always to get their way with government, regardless of ethical considerations."