A special presidential commission, taking an unexpectedly tough stand, is preparing to call for a new federal law banning the creation of a human being by cloning.
The National Bioethics Advisory Commission, which met here Saturday, wants to extend to private corporate and medical laboratories the same kind of prohibition against cloning now imposed on researchers using federal dollars.
Members of the commission voiced strong sentiments against the creation of a human clone, a baby with just one biological and genetic parent.
The commission’s final report will be delivered to President Clinton on May 27.
Although the commission did not complete final language for the report, it was clear there is strong support for tough, restrictive federal legislation. Rather than rely on voluntary cooperation by researchers and fertility clinics, the commission would make it illegal for anyone to make a human clone.
“It’s a safety concern” because cloned babies would have a high risk of “developmental defects and other physical abnormalities,” said commission member Dr. David Cox.