Japan´s Ban on Human Cloning Will Include Stem-Cell Practice

TOKYO, NOV. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Japan plans to extend its prohibition on human cloning to those cases where embryos are created to obtain stem cells.

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The order by the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science was echoed Sunday by news agencies following the announcement that a U.S. company, Advanced Cell Technology, had cloned a human embryo.

The Japanese decision is based on the law that prohibits the cloning of human beings, because it endangers «the dignity of the person, the biological safety of the species, and the maintenance of social order.» The decision takes effect in December.

The United States prohibits the federal funding of projects related to human cloning, but does not regulate research in the private sector.

The Japanese norm, in force since June, prohibits the cloning of human beings, but allows the controlled cultivation of embryos to produce tissues and organs.

Legislation related to cloning is under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science, which can punish lawbreakers with up to 10 years in prison and fines of $80,000.

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