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July Capitol Hill Watch Alert

Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001

On Tuesday, July 31, 2001, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 2505). To view the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.0205:). In addition, an alternative bill is expected to be offered by Representative Jim Greenwood (Republican-Pennsylvania) that would prevent implementation but permits research in human cloning. To view the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02172:) As a result, research-created human clones could be killed because of a federal mandate.

The use of somatic cell nuclear transfer techniques to create human embryos would be prohibited by H.R. 2505, a bill that amends the U.S. Code to provide a ban on human cloning. This measure specifically states that it shall be unlawful for any person or entity, public or private, in or affecting interstate commerce, knowingly, to perform or attempt to perform human cloning, to participate in an attempt to perform human cloning, or to ship or receive for any purpose an embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from such embryo. The legislation also makes it unlawful for any person or entity, public or private, knowingly to import for any purpose an embryo produced by human cloning, or any product derived from such embryo.

Cloning technology to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants, or animal other than human is not restricted by the measure.

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 OPPOSE the substitute bill offered by Representative Jim Greenwood and SUPPORT the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001. (H.R. 2505)

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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