China claims successful Cloning of 100+ Human Embryos

Posted by Mike Kremer on May 16, 2002 at 20:58

The claim that Professor Lu Guangxiu, a biologist from Changsha, had leapt ahead of western scientists by successfully cloning more than 100 human embryos for therapeutic purposes attracted international publicity.
Prof Lu's work, reported in the Wall Street Journal has not been subject to the usual form of scientific scrutiny by scientists outside China. However, she has published a paper in a Chinese journal.

But last week a project to collect genetic material in Anhui province, sponsored by Harvard University and financed by a US drugs company, was suspended for failing to follow ethical procedures.

A group of 20 biologists, philosophers and doctors in Shanghai has called on the city government to set up an ethical committee to monitor cloning and stem cell research.

Prof Hu Chingli, who is a former senior World Health Organisation official, would like to see this extended to the national level.

Foreign experts at the Hugo conference said that China was becoming much more sensitive to these issues. "There is enormous interest in bio-ethics in China now," says Professor Bartha Knoppers, of Hugo's international ethics committee. "That is why we are here."

Reports on Harvard University's Anhui project have led to calls for tighter control of Western genetic research in China.

Farmers in the town of Toutuo who gave blood for the project complained last year that they were encouraged to sign incomprehensible consent forms and were promised free medical treatment which never materialised.
The US federal office for human research protection concluded last month that some consent forms had failed to tell families that their participation was voluntary, or to warn them of possible risks and discomfort.

Chinese scientists who took part in the conference are calling for national laws to ban reproductive human cloning outright and impose tight limits on therapeutic cloning. Chinese geneticists are calling for legislation to control human cloning and genome research, amid growing concern about ethical standards.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002

**100 human clones? Seems like they dont believe it themselves....therefore their concern**

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