Re: European countries say no to human cloning

Arjen Kamphuis (
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:36:29 +0100 (CET)

>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!

Chirac has a big mouth but has made a great mess of his country and has
lost the support of many French people, strikes, demonstrations and a
capital that looks like an city under martial law (so much police). France
is on a downhill slide both economicallly and politically. And Chirac is
quicky losing the support of PM's like Bliar (UK) and Kok (Netherlands).
There is hope ;-)

>PARIS (January 12, 1998 4:08 p.m. EST -- 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.
>"It is on the international level that one must ban

Sounds like the Fourth Protocol (the banning of nuke's, didn't work either)

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

Yes well, that was not a very smart move PR-wise. I didn't hear much in the
media about the _applications_ of cloning. Just a lot of boys-from-brazil BS.

>"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.

So research will continue in England, the Netherlands and other countries.
No problem. Chirac slowed things down a bit, nothing more (don't get me
wrong that;s bad enough but a solvable problem).

>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."

Once cloning becomes a usefull technology in medicine and bio-industry this
law will be softened, same as abortion and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

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

So they make laws that cannot possibly be enforced. Again, all this reminds
me of all the failing druglaws. A law forbidding this kind of technology
cannot possibly be enforced for a long time. I cannot think of any
technology with clear applications that were economically feasible and/or
socially desirable that were succesfully suppressed for long (if someone
does, please speak-up ;-)

In light of other technical/ethical debates held this century I'm not to
worried about some French fossil trying to enforce his medieval view of
ehtics on the global scientific and medical community.

Abortion is legal, drugs are almost legal, IVF is legal, bio-tech on
mice/sheep/cow's is legal. When it becomes a useful tool cloning will also
be legal. Call me an optimist if you like ;-)


Arjen Kamphuis | Learn as if you will live forever. | Live as though you will die tomorrow.

Transcedo, the Dutch Transhumanist site: