May 26, 2024

Scuppered again: UN ban on cloning

A vote on cloning in the United Nations has again been postponed after the two sides failed to reach an agreement. They will meet again in February. Although there is universal support for a ban on human reproductive cloning, a number of countries support a proposal for a treaty drafted by Belgium which would allow therapeutic cloning”.

The Australian government has quietly retreated from a position of moderate support for therapeutic cloning and now backs a proposal for a ban on therapeutic cloning sponsored by Costa Rica and vigorously supported by the United States. The move comes as the newly re- elected government prepares to review a three-year moratorium on therapeutic cloning. Health Minister Tony Abbott, an opponent of therapeutic cloning who became the centre of controversy recently when he asked whether too many abortions were being done in Australia, will probably be in charge. Professor Alan Trounson, a leading stem cell scientist at Monash University, said that he fears that the government’s stand could hamper a “genuine and open discussion” on therapeutic cloning.