Dolly Cloner Rules out Procedure for Humans
Price, Joyce, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The Scottish researcher who cloned Dolly the ewe told a Senate panel yesterday it would be "quite inhumane" to clone human beings.
"I don't see any reason we'd want to clone a person," Ian Wilmut, an embryologist at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, told the Senate Labor and Human Resources subcommittee on public health and safety.
The Senate subcommittee yesterday held a hearing to examine the public policy implications of the recent scientific breakthrough that produced the first clone of an adult mammal.
Yesterday's hearing also examined a bill introduced by Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, that would permanently ban all human cloning in the United States.
Dr. Wilmut said he would "welcome any efforts that could be made on an international basis" to prevent human cloning but stressed the importance of being allowed to continue animal cloning.
"We're confident of being able to produce, in the next two or three years, [cloned] farm animals" whose milk would contain "proteins to treat human illnesses, such as hemophilia," he said.
Cloned sheep "will offer outstanding models to study cystic fibrosis," and there are plans to produce sheep that "will be born with a mild form of the disease," he added.
"In the end, I think there could be no limits on the possible diseases to be treated," Dr. Wilmut said. "But . . . we want to prevent any misuse of this technology. . . . I still have not heard a use of this technology to produce a new person that would be acceptable."
However, Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health, said a ban on human cloning could interfere with other cloning research that could have important medical benefits. …