Brussels, 02 Jan 2003
French President Jacques Chirac has called on all countries to support a Franco-German proposal for a global ban on human cloning following an announcement that a cloned human being has been born.
Scientist Brigitte Boisselier from the company Clonaid has claimed that a baby girl born on 26 December is an exact genetic replica of her mother. No evidence has yet been provided to support the claim, but the prospect has provoked reaction from around the world.
'Whatever the truth behind the announcement, the President of the Republic takes this opportunity to reiterate his strong condemnation of all research into human reproductive cloning and to solemnly reaffirm that for France the practice is contrary to human dignity and criminal,' read a statement from President Chirac's office, released on December.
Mr Chirac also said that scientists should consider the ethical dimensions of their work more closely, and that they should consider taking a pledge similar to the medical profession's not to harm human life: 'The time seems to me to have come for us to consider the introduction of a kind of Hippocratic oath and for us to define the ethical standards of businesses and laboratories more closely.'
US President George W Bush called the claims 'deeply troubling' and a spokesman claimed they underlined the need for a ban on cloning in the US.
The Franco-German proposal for a global ban on human cloning has been submitted to the United Nations.