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California Cloning Committee Meets in Los Angeles

Genetic Crossroads
October 16th, 2000

At their September 22 meeting in Los Angeles, the California State
Legislature Advisory Committee on Human Cloning heard testimony from
Lawrence Goldstein, UC San Diego, and from Glenn McGee, University of
Pennsylvania. McGee is the author of "The Perfect Baby" (NY: Rowman &
Littlefield, 1997), whose concluding chapter is titled "The Not-so-
Deadly Sins of Genetic Enhancement." There was no public testimony.

Goldstein's presentation focused on technical issues. He indicated
that he would like to see California's cloning legislation sunset and
not be replaced, though he would not be "violently opposed" to an
extension of the moratorium as long as it didn't get in the way of
stem cell research.

McGee advocated what he called a "practical" approach to reproductive
cloning that would allow different attitudes to cloning in different
jurisdictions, even within the state. He suggested that supervision
be handled by family court judges on a case-by-case basis. Committee
members pointed out that judges have had difficulties with surrogacy
cases, and argued that even if they did handle case-by-case questions,
they would need legislative guidance.

The next meeting of the Cloning Committee will be in San Francisco in
January. No testimony is planned; instead the Committee will begin
consideration of its final report based on a draft outline to be
written by Henry Greely, professor of law and co-director of a program
in Genomics, Ethics, and Society at Stanford University.

This account is based on communications from Pete Shanks, who attended
the Los Angeles meeting.


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