Human Genetics Alert

Unit 112 Aberdeen House 22-24 Highbury Grove, London N5 2EA
Phone: 020 7704 6100 fax: 020 7359 8423 

Media release

For immediate release 27th February

Human Genetics Alert criticises Lords on cloning

Responding to the House of Lords report on stem cell research, Human Genetics Alert said today that the report was another step towards reproductive cloning.  The Lords Select Committee argues that the creation of cloned human embryos should be permitted, even though basic research on nuclear transfer could be done using animal embryos.  But UK research which developed techniques for creating viable embryos by cloning could immediately be used by scientists abroad to develop reproductive cloning.  For example, the publication of the first report of embryo cloning in the US, last November, was welcomed by Professor Antinori, who wishes to clone babies.  It is good that the Lords committee recognises that the threat of reproductive cloning is sufficiently serious to require an international ban, but ironic that it fails to see that its own recommendations would subvert this goal.  At the very least there should be an international moratorium on embryo cloning, until a ban on reproductive cloning is in place. 

 Dr David King of Human Genetics Alert said: "It is simply not good enough to state complacently that cloning is banned in the UK.  It is about time that the research establishment and policymakers started taking responsibility for the international consequences of UK research."

 For more information contact Dr David King, 020 7704 6100.

 Notes for editors

 1. Human Genetics Alert is an independent watchdog group funded by a leading British charity.  It is not a 'pro-life', organisation and supports women's right to choose to terminate pregnancy.