California Stem Cell Research Program Will Begin Funding Human Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 16,

Sacramento, CA ( — A pro-life law firm that was behind the lawsuit against California’s stem cell research agency for allegedly violating various state laws says the program is now backing human cloning. The Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) says the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is going further than just funding stem cells.

California voters created CIRM after approving Proposition 71, which authorized $3 billion in state bond revenue for stem cell research programs.

The law firm is speaking out because CIRM has announced it will begin selling the bonds to finance more research and the firm wants Californians to know where there money will go.

CIRM created a furor when it initially supported only embryonic stem cell studies, which involve the destruction of human life.

LLDF told that California residents now have another reason to be upset at the state panel.

“What most people may not be aware of is the fact that researchers in California have actually been given the ‘green light’ to clone living human embryos for the purpose of harvesting their embryonic stem cells,” the group’s director Dana Cody said.

“The important thing to remember is the process known as ‘somatic-cell nuclear-transfer,’" Cody said.

“Somatic-Cell Nuclear-Transfer, (SCNT), when using a human egg from one person and cells from another person, scientifically means cloning a live human embryo,” Cody explained.

Cody stressed that the promoters of Proposition 71 and the media have been deceptive about SCNT terminology.

She said they are confusing cloning to mean only creating a cloned baby, and not creating an embryo using SCNT technology which is destined for destructive research.

Though the federal government bans federal funding of human cloning, there are no federal laws that say human cloning cannot be done using private or state funds.

Five states, including California, have laws that do not allow human cloning for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy or reproductive cloning. But all these states do allow for the cloning of human embryos.

“That’s a lot of money riding on nothing but empty promises,” said Cody. “Even the supporters of Proposition 71 have had to ‘back-pedal,’ restating their case on ‘if’ and ‘when’ treatments will come."

Related web sites:
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