Human Exceptionalism

Minnesota’s Attempt to Outlaw All Human Cloning

A bill is wending its way through the Minnesota Legislature that would make all human cloning, for example, through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in the state a felony. Not just reproductive cloning–the kind of pseudo ban, but actually, the prohibition of one use of a cloned embryo, that the mainstream media and Big Biotech would support. This would be a real ban on the creation of a human embryo through asexual cloning methods.  And, unlike phony bans that actually seek to legalize human cloning through the time-tested tactic of inaccurately defining the term, the proposed ban gets the biology right.  From HF 998, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2011:

Subd. 2. Definitions.

“Human cloning” means human asexual reproduction accomplished by introducing nuclear material from one or more human somatic cells into a fertilized or unfertilized oocyte whose nuclear material has been removed or inactivated so as to produce a living organism at any stage of development that is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human organism.

None of the nonsense about the act of cloning being the act of implantation in a womb as in the phony bans.

Here’s the ban part:

Subd. 3. Prohibition on cloning. It is unlawful for any person or entity, public or private, to knowingly:

1) perform or attempt to perform human cloning;

(2) participate in an attempt to perform human cloning;

(3) ship or receive for any purpose an embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from such an embryo; and

(4) ship or receive, in whole or in part, any oocyte, embryo, fetus, or human somatic cell, for the purpose of human cloning.

Expect “the scientists” to insist this will thwart scientific research in MN.  But except for cloning research, that would not be true:

Subd. 5. Scientific research. Nothing in this section shall restrict areas of scientific research not specifically prohibited by this section, including research in the use of nuclear  transfer of other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants, or animals other than humans.

It is worth noting that legislation does not outlaw embryonic stem cell research, which is a different thing altogether than human cloning–although promoters often try to conflate the two to cause confusion and policy gridlock.

I think all human cloning should be outlawed.  So does the international community, as expressed in an overwhelming vote in the United Nations General Assembly several years ago. I hope this bill passes.  I’ll keep SHSers apprised of its progress or lack of same.

The clip above is from the CBC’s, Lines That Divide.  Yes that old guy in the gray beard is yours truly.


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