for the medical expenses of women who donate eggs. In June 2006, after more than 2½ years, the Harvard group announced that they had received final approval in the review process that looked at ethical, legal and intellectual property issues and involved eight different boards and committees at five separate institutions. 16
In May 2006, scientists at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) and Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) in Worcester, MA, independently announced that they would resume their efforts to produce cloned human embryos for research purposes.17 Both UCSF and ACT (see below) had been working separately on such experiments prior to the February 2004 South Koreans’ announcement of cloning success, but subsequently suspended their work; in the case of ACT due to lack of funding and in the case of UCSF due to lack of success.
Clonaid. On December 27, 2002, a representative of Clonaid announced the birth of the first cloned human, a seven-pound baby girl nicknamed Eve. The baby was born on December 26, 2002, at an undisclosed location outside the United States. Although the company offered no proof of its claim, Dr. Brigette Boisselier, Managing Director of Clonaid, stated that genetic tests would show that the baby is the clone of the 31-year-old American woman who is the birth mother. To date the test results have not been released; the company claims that the parents fear the test results could lead to legal actions and loss of custody of the child.18 The Clonaid website indicates that “13 cloned babies are now alive,” and that “each month, between 10 and 15 implantations will be performed” in the Clonaid laboratory.19 Clonaid was founded in 1997 by the leader of the Raelians, an international sect of 55,000 people in 84 countries, which claims that life on Earth was created via genetic engineering by a human extraterrestrial race.20
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the company’s actions; the agency would consider any human cloning activity to be illegal if
performed in the United States.21
In April 2001 FDA investigated
laboratory in Nitro, WV; the laboratory closed shortly thereafter.22
Advanced Cell Technology. On November 25, 2001, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) of Massachusetts announced that it had created the world’s first
16 Sylvia Pagan Westphal, “Harvard Joins New U.S. Push in Stem Cells,” The Wall Street Journal, Jun. 7, 2006, p. B1.
18 K. Chang, “Scientist in Clone Tests Says Hoax Is Possible,” New York Times, Jan. 7, 2003, p. A12.
[http://www.clonaid.com/news.php] For further information, see [http://www.clonaid.com] and [http://www.rael.org].
21 L. Greenhouse, “FDA Exploring Human Cloning Claim,” New York Times, Dec. 30, 2002, p. A10.
22 G. Kolata and K. Chang, “For Clonaid, a Trail of Unproven Claims,” New York Times, Jan. 1, 2003, p. A13.