February 3, 2006
Bush On Cloning In State of The Union Address
By: Rowan Wolf
Some of you who watched or read the State of the Union Address may have been taken aback by his comments on cloning. He said:
Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research - human cloning in all its forms ... creating or implanting embryos for experiments ... creating human-animal hybrids ... and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale."
While a statement against human cloning is not surprising, many folks are asking where in the world he came up with "human-animal hybrids."
This so-called "hybrid" process is a big deal, and Bush's proposed ban has probably made numerous researchers )and the corporations and venture capitalists funding that research) quake in their boots. This is known as transgenic research and some see it as an answer to numerous medical processes.
The introduction of human genes into a variety of animal species has been going on for some time. Pigs have had human genes introduced for xeno-transplants. Organs grown in transgenic pigs are hoped to provide organ transplants that are less likely to be rejected. The shortage of transplants is a major issue, and has lead to a grisly black market in organs.
Human genes are being experimented with in both goats and cows to produce certain enzymes and proteins.
And, human genes are being introduced into chickens in order to improve vaccine production.
One assumes that the possibilities are endless if we add other life forms into the mix - say fish and plants.
Xeno transgenics is not new. It goes back to the US patent that was issued in the early 1990s on the Harvard Mouse. You may remember the pictures of the mouse with the human ear on its back. Mice are being used in a wide array of transgenic experiments (try search google images for transgenic mouse).
I happen to agree with Bush on human cloning and transgenics, but then I am anti-genetic modification. While I realize the possibilities that this research might produce, I personally think that the risks are too high. I also have problems on an ethical basis with the experimentation on animals. Bush does not share those concerns as he has been pushing for the release of cloned and genetically modified salmon to be released into the open sea. The grow much faster than either native or farmed salmon. His issue, and many of his "base," is when human genes enter the mix. Interestingly, Bush's pandering to both the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries seems to hit the wall at human transgenics. What an interesting point to quibble on.
Articles of Interest
Transgenic Animals. J. M. Kimball
The Xeno-Solution. John Travis, Science News Online, 11/04/1995
What's wrong with Genetic Engineering?. Organic Consumers Association.
Posted by Rowan at February 3, 2006 6:51 PM Category: Environment
in the bible, it is said that humans have domain over the animals of the land, the fish of the oceans and the birds of the air. this means that we have a certain amount of control over them, but also that we have a responsability to see their welfare protected al all times. the natural variety of species is a phenomenon that should not be tampered with. if it doesnt happen in nature, then in my opinion, it shouldnt happen.
as for the prevention of disease and organ replacment, would it be better to live your life and die when the time comes...or be immortal, living off of cloned organs and genetically implanted immunities to diseases. why do humans seek to defy nature and live forever.
if cloning becomes a reality then it WILL lead to a chain of problems which will lead with the destruction of the delicate natural order of the earth. that is for certain...
Posted by: Andrea at February 9, 2006 6:50 AM