An Irish legal expert has called for a ban on reproductive cloning.
Human rights attorney Brendan Tobin said failure to act now would create a freak planet of clones and humans and a booming market in spare parts for humans.
Tobin's call is likely to gain momentum after this week's news that a U.S. doctor, who says he is doing "God's work" made a "serious attempt" at producing the world's first cloned baby.
Fertility specialist Dr Panayiotis Zavos, who first hit the headlines in 2004, cloned 14 embryos but has so far been unsuccessful in implanting them
However, Dr Zavos said "There is absolutely no doubt about it. The cloned child is coming. There is absolutely no way that it will not happen.'
Tobin said that "many predict that the the birth of a human clone is inevitable," and added that the world needs to act now on banning such births.
"Failure to outlaw reproductive cloning means it is just a matter of time until cloned individuals share the planet,” he said.
Tobin, who was one of the authors of a UN report on cloning, pointed to fears that "reproductive cloning" would lead to a booming spare parts market for harvesting human organs.
He described a Doomsday scenario where the rich would be able to buy organs from "brain-less bodies."
Meanwhile, Dr Zavos said "The cloned child is coming. There is absolutely no way that it will not happen.'
“If we intensify our efforts we can have a cloned baby within a year or two, but I don't know whether we can intensify our efforts to that extent.
“We're not really under pressure to deliver a cloned baby to this world. What we are under pressure to do is to deliver a cloned baby that is a healthy one.”
“I just do God's work,” he said. “I don't wish to be involved in resurrecting anyone. The dead people are gone.
“We are not talking about Hollywood here, we are not talking about fiction, we are talking about the realities of life. This even makes me a bit nervous. But we do not see any difference between reproductive cloning and the post-mortem cloning.
“I don't wish to be involved in resurrecting anyone. The dead people are gone.
“But they left behind the cells that their relatives wish to use to reproduce a child. That is where it begins for me, not where the source of the material is.”
Food & Drink
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