P.Takahashi. Huffington Post 24.08.13.
The UN General Assembly in August of 2005 did adopt a declaration prohibiting all forms of human cloning. The vote was 87 in support, 34 in opposition and 70 abstaining or absent. But the edict was non-binding. The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine prohibits human cloning
, but has not been ratified by most countries. There is, further, a Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which bans reproductive human cloning, but it has no legal standing.
So where is the USA on human cloning? Human cloning is legal in the U.S
., but there are some Federal prohibitions against research. The George W. Bush regime was especially difficult, and Barack Obama ended the ban on embryonic stem cell research, while remaining opposed to human cloning.
formed a stem cell institute in 2003 and Harvard
initiated efforts to clone human embryos in 2006. They initially were attempting to fund this work with private donors without any government assistance. Mind you, they are not cloning humans, as Harvard would like to harvest stem cells to fight leukemia and diabetes. The University of California at San Francisco announced a similar pursuit. Advanced Cell Technology of Massachusetts is commercializing human embryonic stem cell cloning services.
Some countries have observed the American reluctance to support human cloning research and have taken definite steps. There was South Korea and their scanda
l. The situation is somewhat foggy in the United Kingdom
, as the University of Newscastle in 2005 claimed to clone the first human embryo
Singapore, a former British colony of 4.5 million people, has entered the competition. For all intents and purposes, while a democracy, it is about as close to a benevolent dictatorship as there exists today. The government decides what is best and gets the job done. Biotechnology is a priority area. They created Biopolis
, a $300 million, 2 million square foot research center focused on biomedical development, recruiting world class scientists, some who were fed up with the national politics in their own country. Singapore is trying to establish a world sanctuary for stem cell research. While first inaugurated in 2003, Biopolis is already home to scientists from 50 nations. While reproductive human cloning is banned, I can see this island someday becoming the site of choice for therapeutic cloning, as depicted in a former CBS television drama Century City.
What about China? Is China a cloning paradise? University of Connecticut animal cloning director Jerry Yang Xiangzhong told The Standard, China's business newspaper, that China can jump ahead of the U.S. in three years if their scientists were given the green light to proceed. His contention is that in much of the developed world scientific progress in this field is hindered by political and religious debates. There is also the moral problem with something called human dignity.