For immediate release 27/12/02

 Human Genetics Alert condemns fraudulent cloning claims

HGA (1) today condemned the irresponsible claims by the Raelian cult to have produced a baby through cloning.  Unless such claims are proven by independent DNA testing, no one should accept them.  Today's announcement must not weaken international resolve to ban cloning: on the contrary, they should spur the world's governments to put aside their ideological differences on stem cell research, and immediately outlaw reproductive cloning.  It is imperative that such an unethical and dangerous practice is not permitted in civilised societies.  Because of risks to the child, efforts to clone a human being contravene all international medical ethics rules.

HGA believes it is unlikely in the extreme that human reproductive cloning is possible at present.  Scientific evidence suggests that humans are amongst the most difficult species to clone, and there is no published scientific groundwork, upon which the Raelians could base their efforts.  This cult has no scientific record which would give credibility to their claims.

HGA's Director, Dr David King, said: "These claims  have very little to do with reality, and are more about a cult's ploy to boost membership and funds by publicising itself.  It is to the shame of the international community that it has not criminalised cloning in all countries.  Today's announcement must lead to action."

For more information contact Dr David King +44 (0)20 7704 6100.

Notes for editors

1. Human Genetics Alert is a non-profit watchdog group funded by a leading British charity.  It supports women's right to choose to terminate pregnancy  

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