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Ban reproductive cloning, scientists urge UN

Sixty-three science academies present a united front ahead of cloning committee meeting

Rossella Lorenzi

Scientists from across the world, many from the developing world, will call for a worldwide ban on human reproductive cloning at a UN meeting next week.

The InterAcademy Panel (IAP), a network of science academies headquartered in Trieste, Italy, will present a declaration to a UN committee on cloning, urging countries to ensure that reproductive cloning is subject to a universal ban. But the IAP stresses that therapeutic cloning to obtain embryonic stem cells should be allowed.

The UN committee has been looking at the possibility of issuing a declaration to endorse a ban on cloning, but consensus has been hampered by disagreements over the scope of such a ban, especially whether the ban should apply to research and therapeutic cloning.

"Some countries wanted a ban on all forms of cloning, which scientists cannot accept," Mohamed Hassan, executive director of the Third World Academy of Sciences, which hosts...

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