Campaigners last night warned that news that a South Korean cloning team have produced about a dozen new embryonic stem cell lines from cloned human embryos takes us a step closer to full reproductive cloning. A spokesperson for LIFE said: "This news from South Korea makes reproductive cloning a clear and present global danger. If, as they claim, these South Korean scientists can reliably produce cloned embryos healthy enough to survive to the blastocyst stage for cell harvesting, we can assume that they can reliably produce embryos healthy enough to try implanting them in women. This Frankenstein science should be banned in every civilized country. "No-one should be misled by the South Korean team's claim that they have refined the cloning process so that it only involves taking a dozen or so eggs from each woman involved in the research project. These figures, if they are true, only make the exploitation of some women more likely. Cloning involves exposing women to dangerous fertility drugs in order to collect sufficient eggs to use in the cloning process. It is unsafe and inefficient. "These scientists may be acting out of the noblest of motives, the treatment and cure of debilitating diseases, but every week news breaks of astonishing progress in the treatment of debilitating diseases using adult stem cells. Being taken from the patient's body, these cells are compatible with the patient's own tissue and avoid the ethical problems associated with cloning. Adult stem cell research, not cloning, represents the ethical and scientific way forward."
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