British Pro-Life Groups Challenge Scientists’ Hybrid Human Cloning Licenses

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

British Pro-Life Groups Challenge Scientists’ Hybrid Human Cloning Licenses Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 9
, 2008

London, England ( — Two British pro-life groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the two licenses awarded by the government to scientists allowing them to create hybrid human clones. Comment on Reproductive Ethics and the Christian Legal Centre are behind the suit to revoke the licenses for the grisly practice.

Earlier this month, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne science team announced it has successfully created “admixed embryos” — hybrid clones featuring both human and animal parts.

The scientists had received licenses from the British government for the human cloning even though the British parliament has yet to approve the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill officially legally allowing their work.

Josephine Quintavalle of CORE told late Tuesday that the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority never should have granted authority to the research team and scientists at King’s College, London to engage in human cloning.

"From day one of the proposals to create animal-human cloned embryos, CORE has always argued that they are prohibited under the current law, are neither necessary nor desirable, and that the science itself is nonsensical," she said.

She said the two groups have scrutinized the legal implications and used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain and analyze the full licence applications.

The groups also obtained information and comments from leading scientists who say the human cloning research is unnecessary.

"We are convinced that there is no justification whatsoever for creating animal-human hybrids," Quintavalle told

She also said the decision to allow the human cloning, which includes taxpayer funding, is an affront to the British people.

"Taxpayers’ money should not be wasted on projects going nowhere, but be invested in legitimate stem cell research, such as that involving cord blood stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc), and the various beneficial adult stem cell applications (from bone marrow and the like)," she said.

Quintavalle said she expected the British press to label the lawsuit a knee jerk reaction based on religious objections but said the lawsuit was months in the making and involved very careful preparation.

"It is time for the UK to wake up once and for all to the exaggerated hype surrounding the hybrid stem cell battle and settle down to proper analysis of the scientific arguments," she concluded. "This matter will be debated in Parliament in the forthcoming months and this Court challenge will help to clarify many of the issues at stake."

Related web sites:
Comment on Reproductive Ethics –