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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003 (H.R. 534)

On Thursday, February 27, 2003, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003 (H.R. 534).  (Text Of  Legislation) The measure amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit any person or entity, in or affecting interstate commerce, from knowingly: (1) performing or attempting to perform human cloning; (2) participating in such an attempt; (3) shipping or receiving an embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from such embryo; or (4) importing such an embryo or derived product.  Also, the bill sets forth criminal and civil penalties.  It provides that nothing in this Act restricts areas of scientific research not specifically prohibited above, including research in the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants, or animals other than humans.

Dolly The Sheep

In a research compound of the Roslin Institute Dolly, the world’s first cloned mammal, was born on July 5, 1996.  On February 14, 2003, the six year-old sheep died after being diagnosed with progressive lung disease.

The sheep was created from a breast cell of her genetically identical mother.  After birth, Dolly grew obese, developed arthritis, and demonstrated signs of premature aging.  To spare her from the advance of lung disease, Dolly was euthanized.

Recent Study

Scientists have learned that mice cloned from embryonic stem cells may look identical, but many of them actually differ from one another by harboring unique genetic abnormalities.

Part of the explanation as to the reason why so many clones do not survive to birth may be found in these subtle and previously undetected genetic abnormalities. This new development has caused great consideration in the debate over the safety and morality of human cloning since it adds credence to researchers' fears that even apparently healthy clones are not as normal as they appear.

At least in mice, this study demonstrates that embryonic stem cells are surprisingly genetically unstable.

What Can You Do?

Urge your representative to SUPPORT the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003 (H.R. 534)

Contact Information:

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.

Addressing Correspondence:

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative (last name):

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