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BIO Reacts to Sheep Cloning Experiment

(WASHINGTON, DC, February 23, 1997) . . . Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), today issued the following statement in reaction to the announcement that will appear this week in Natureconcerning a successful experiment to clone sheep.

"If the reports are correct that an adult sheep was cloned, then this occurred sooner than most expected."

"In the future, society may determine that there are sound reasons to clone certain animals to improve the food supply, produce biopharmaceuticals, provide organs for transplantation and aid in research. I can think of no ethical reason to apply this technique to human beings, if in fact it can be applied.

"The biotechnology industry exists to use genetic information to cure disease and improve agriculture. We opposed human cloning when it was a theory. Now that it may be possible, we urge that it be prohibited by law."

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents 700 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural and environmental biotechnology products.