Woolly logic

March 7, 1997

ARE the arguments for the cloning of animals as woolly as the first product of this technique (THES, February 28)? To what problems is cloning the solution?

Will it improve the stock of animals for food? The case for bio-diversity suggests not. Will this provide cheaper sources of food for the Third World? It is more economic to provide grain or vegetable alternatives; and enough food is produced already to feed world populations, if we wanted. Will cloned animals be used as living factories to produce drugs? Possibly this a genuine function that might not be fulfilled by other means. Yet the economics of production leads the drive to cloning rather than breeding.

The question is whether the production of more drugs is itself desirable. Granted some conditions are only alleviated by drug therapies. Yet is it not a fallacy that technology will deliver us into a world free from hardship and pain? The obstacles to this are more social, political and economic. Might it not be better to apply ourselves to these and to leave evolution to nature?

Tom Maguire Head of drama Liverpool Hope University College

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