Outcry over Sydney clone birth claim

The reported birth of cloned baby in Sydney was illegal, immoral and dangerous, the Reverend Fred Nile said today.

Controversial international cloning group Clonaid today claimed to have successfully created its sixth child, a boy said to have been born in a Sydney hospital on February 5.

Clonaid is linked to the quasi-religious Raelian Movement, which believes aliens created life on Earth and cloning is the key to humanity’s survival.

The organisation’s claims have been dismissed as a hoax by the wider scientific, medical and religious communities, due to its failure to produce DNA proof of the babies’ existence.

Head of the Clonaid project, biochemist Brigitte Boisselier, who is in Australia to monitor the birth, said the boy had been released from hospital and was being monitored by a local pediatrician.

“The parents are an infertile couple, and the father is the one who gave the cells to have the baby,” she said.

Rev Nile, the NSW Christian Democratic MLC, said he was suspicious about whether the news was genuine.

But he said if the baby had been cloned, police should investigate.

“We did pass a bill in the state parliament prohibiting cloning so if they have cloned a person … then I believe the police should act and charge all those involved,” Rev Nile said.

“It is illegal as well as immoral, unethical, dangerous.”

Dr Boisselier said the baby was “perfectly healthy and (his) reactions are perfectly normal”.

But Rev Nile said he feared for the child’s health and long-term survival.

“We know from all the animal experiments that they’ve been a disaster … (the cloned animals) have all aged prematurely and died,” he said.

“I think it’s a tragedy that this little boy has been condemned to that probable outcome, that he won’t develop normally and will die prematurely.”

Rev Nile also said there were IVF procedures available to help couples conceive and that cloning was “not the way to go” to sustain the population.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
AAP, Australia
Feb. 12, 2004

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)