Minnesota Pro-Life Group Responds to UM Cloning Roundtable

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2011   |   7:28PM   |   St. Paul, MN

A gathering of researchers and CEOs of startups at the University of Minnesota condemned legislaton that would ban the practice of human cloning in the state. They said the proposal would cost Minnesota tens of millions of dollars in medical technology jobs and development opportunities if it passed.

Supported by the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the bill seeks to criminalize human cloning. It has no bearing on embryonic stem cell research and will not affect any research currently being pursued in the state, but speakers at the event believe it sets a dangerous precedent.

“All of us are afraid collectively … that it will be very hard to interpret and if it is hard to interpret it will wind up in court,” said Doug Kohrs, CEO of Tornier, a French orthopedics company with U.S. headquarters in Edina. “Courts will tell these guys at the Mayo and U what they can and cannot do.”

MCCCL responded to the roundtable in a statement to LifeNews.com:

“The University of Minnesota’s roundtable event in support of human cloning will undoubtedly touch off another round of inaccurate stories in the media. Most of the reporting so far has consisted of wild claims about the loss of jobs and money for our state. This will supposedly happen if the University and the Mayo Clinic are not allowed to engage in a practice they are not even currently pursuing: the creation of new human organisms by cloning.

“Some in the press have even erroneously reported that stem cell research would be criminalized if the ban on human cloning is enacted!

“The legislation under consideration is simple and straightforward. It bans human cloning. It does not ban stem cell research; it does not prevent cures and treatments; it does not fire researchers; and it does not stop the University or the Mayo Clinic from any of the work they are doing. The bill simply prevents the creation — for any and all purposes — of a human clone.”