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FASEB Endorses Voluntary Moratorium On Cloning Human Beings

Bethesda, MD - Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) President Ralph G. Yount announced the adoption of a voluntary moratorium on cloning human beings. Members of FASEB's Public Affairs Executive Committee, representing the 14 member societies of the Federation, unanimously voted in favor of the following statement at a recent meeting:

RESOLVED: The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) adopts a voluntary five year moratorium on cloning human beings, where "cloning human beings" is defined as the duplication of an existing or previously existing human being by transferring the nucleus of a differentiated, somatic cell into an enucleated human oocyte, and implanting the resulting product for intrauterine gestation and subsequent birth.

In accord with the recommendations by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, this moratorium will be in effect for a period of five years, with subsequent reconsideration for possible extension.

Yount, a Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at Washington State University, noted that the Federation adopted this moratorium for several important reasons. "First and foremost," stated Yount, "we seek to reassure Americans that biologists have no intentions of cloning human beings. Indeed, we would regard cloning a human being as an unethical and reprehensible act. But, we have also recognized that there is a role for us - as scientists - to play in this debate. We need to ensure that imprecise or misused technical language is not included in legislation designed to prevent the cloning of human beings. If enacted, such laws could hinder vital biomedical research that can lead to the repair of diseased and damaged human tissues and organs, and to possible cures for diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases."

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Posted Thursday, September 25, 1997
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