Dolly fails to find warm hello

March 28, 1997

DOLLY should never have been cloned, Britain's first gene jury has been told.

More than 400 members of the public took centre stage last week at the debate hosted by the Wellcome Trust.

The audience made their concerns about the potential misuse of new technologies and the power of government clear to observers from the Government and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, which was set up to inform and assess public opinion in this new area of science.

After brief introductions by experts to complex subjects such as cloning and genetic testing, members of the public, who had accepted Pounds 15 each to attend, were invited to discuss and vote on a number of topical questions.

Forty three per cent of the group objected to the technology that created Dolly, the world's most famous sheep and the first cloned mammal, while two-fifths of the group said they thought human genetics research was going too far.

More than 80 per cent said genetic tests should only be available from doctors and not over the counter from the chemists.

Fears over animal rights abuses, industry placing profits above ethical concerns, and about the prospect of scientists generating a super class of intelligent people, were all aired.

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