Senators Behind US Cloning Ban Blast British Human-Animal Cloning Effort

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senators Behind US Cloning Ban Blast British Human-Animal Cloning Effort Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 27,

Washington, DC ( — The two leading senators who are behind a bill that would ban human cloning in the United States are condemning the British government’s approval of research allowing the creation of human-animal hybrids. Sens. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, and Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, say the UK cloning effort is unethical.

The lawmakers introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act, S. 2358, to prevent the crossing of humans and animals because it unethically "[blurs] the line between human and animal."

In a statement received last week, Brownback said creating human-animal hybrids could irrevocably harm the basic human genetic makeup and "change what it means to be human.

"What was once only science fiction is now becoming a reality, and we need to ensure that experimentation and subsequent ramifications do not outpace ethical discussion and societal decisions," he said.

"The UK’s decision to allow the creation of human-animal hybrids is short-sighted, and further underscores our need here at home to enact the common-sense Brownback-Landrieu Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act," he added.

Landrieu agreed and said the British government has created a line the United States shouldn’t cross.

"Here in the United States, we simply cannot open the door to the unethical blending of humans and animals, which the British government seems intent on doing," Sen. Landrieu said.

"This unsound science also presents potential global health hazards due to increased risk of disease spreading to humans from animals," she added.

Landrieu said she and Brownback would renew their push for a human cloning ban in the United States, though the Democrat-controlled Senate has yet to take it up for a debate and vote.

Their bill prohibits human somatic cell nuclear transfer, the process by which a human clone is created but does not affect the legality of adult or embryonic stem cell research.