Clinton asks bioethics commission to look at sheep cloning
Poll shows most Americans disapprove of cloning
February 25, 1997
Web posted at: 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton asked a White House
bioethics advisory commission of outside experts to look at
ethical, legal and other issues raised by the successful
cloning of a sheep in Scotland.
The cloning is a "remarkable scientific discovery, but one
that raises important questions," Clinton said Monday in a
letter to Dr. Harold Shapiro, chairman of the commission.
The president said he was particularly concerned about the
"possible use of this technology to clone human embryos."
"It is a very troubling subject," White House Press Secretary
Mike McCurry said.
Clinton asked the advisory panel to report back within 90
days with recommendations to prevent abuse of this new
technology. He signed a federal ban in 1995 on the use of
human embryos for research.
Meanwhile, an ABC News poll showed that 87 percent of
Americans believed cloning humans should be specifically
banned, and 82 percent said they thought it was morally
Fifty percent said they disapproved of the Scottish
scientists' research, but 53 percent said cloning animals
should be allowed for medical research. The number increased
to 71 percent if such research could lead to lifesaving drugs or medical techniques.
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