European countries say no to human cloning

Max More (maxmore@primenet.com)
Mon, 12 Jan 1998 19:28:45 -0800


To an Extropian, this news is scary stuff. Note what Chirac says: he's not
just working on an international ban on human cloning, but on any genetic
alterations to human beings. Goodbye one path to posthumanity!

If the British are the only country to resist, maybe I'll have to move
back. [Natasha--want to live in London?]

Max More
more@extropy.org

European countries say no to human cloning

Copyright 1998 Nando.net
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Nando's special report: 1997 Year in Review

PARIS (January 12, 1998 4:08 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- Hours after
French President Jacques Chirac called for a world ban on human cloning, 19
European nations signed an agreement Monday to prohibit genetic replication
of humans.

The actions came two days after President Clinton blasted a Chicago
physicist's intention to clone humans as "untested and unsafe and morally
unacceptable" and urged Congress to outlaw human cloning.

"It is on the international level that one must ban cloning and the genetic
manipulation susceptible to altering the character of the human species,"
Chirac told the European national ethics committee.

The July 1997 presentation of Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned
mammal, set off an international outcry over the implications for human
biology.

Many world leaders renewed their condemnation after Chicago scientist
Richard Seed said Jan. 7 that he planned to begin working on human cloning
using a new technique.

"We would resolve nothing in banning certain practices in one country if
the doctors and researchers can develop them elsewhere," said Chirac,
citing the "worrying trend" in the United States.

Representatives from 19 members of the Council of Europe later today signed
a protocol that would commit their countries to prohibiting by law "any
intervention seeking to create human beings genetically identical to
another human being, whether living or dead."

The 40-member group was founded in 1949 to promote democracy, human rights
and the rule of law.

The cloning protocol will not include two of Europe's biggest countries.

Germany claims the measure is weaker than a current German law that forbids
all research on human embryos -- a legacy of Nazis attempts to conduct
genetic engineering of humans.

Britain, with a strong tradition of defending the freedoms of scientific
research, also balked.

Countries signing today are: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece,
Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San
Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Macedonia and Turkey.

-- By JOSEPH SCHUMAN, The Associated Press