The Bundestag, Germany's lower parliamentary chamber, overwhelmingly voted on Thursday in favour of a motion proposing an international ban on human cloning. The proposal called for the German government to work 'within the framework of the United Nations' to move towards a complete ban on both therapeutic and reproductive cloning. The motion was supported by both parties that make up Germany's coalition government, along with the major opposition party. But it was opposed by the second largest opposition party, which argued that therapeutic cloning should be allowed.
On Sunday, French President Jacques Chirac told France's national ethics committee that he will press the United Nations for an international convention on bioethics to prevent the abuse of human cloning research. France is known for its opposition to human cloning, but Mr Chirac said that an international approach was now needed, in the light of claims that cloned human babies have been born: 'In this age of globalisation, national laws are obviously not sufficient'. He also said that the French government plans to ban human reproductive cloning, but will allow therapeutic cloning and stem cell research, adding 'we must act with discernment, encouraging research on adult cells first and foremost'.
Meanwhile, Brigitte Boisselier, president of Clonaid, has announced that two further cloned babies have been born. The fourth baby, she said, in a Clonaid press release, was born to Saudi Arabian parents on 27 January. The fifth was born on 4 February. According to the press release, the five babies are in 'excellent health', and the five sets of parents of this, 'the first generation', are now 'building an association in defence of their rights once they decide to go public'. Twenty new couples are said to be involved in 'second generation' implantations.
Sources and References
Success update at Clonaid
German Parliament Seeks Global Cloning Ban Via UN