Germany Condemns Cloning Experiment | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 27.11.2001
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Germany Condemns Cloning Experiment

A heated debate has broken out following the successful cloning of human embryos in the US. Germany has joined a chorus of religious and political leaders condemning the experiments.

The German government moved quickly to denounce the work of a team of US researchers, who successfully cloned human embryos.

"Such experiments are irresponsible" said Germany’s minister responsible for research, Edelgard Bulmahn on Monday in Berlin.

Bulmahn criticised that different rules apply for public and for privately funded companies in the US.

While the tax payer’s money cannot be used to fund cloning experiments, privately funded companies can do as they please.

"It is a case of double standards, that must be prevented here", Bulmahn said.

Reproductive and therapeutic cloning are both illegal and furthermore, Germany is working towards a world-wide ban on the matter.

The German Medical Association was equally quick to denounce the breakthrough.

"It is a nightmare come true, not a milestone in scientific research", Jörg-Dietrich Hoppe, president of the German Medical Association said.

Germany is particularly conservative in its approach to biotechnological research because of the Nazi dream of creating an Aryan super-race. It has banned all research on human embryos since 1990.

Earlier this year the chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, warned that the ban was hindering the growth of Germany's biotech sector and risked handicapping the economy as a whole.

His remarks provoked an emotional debate and were vigorously opposed by the German president, Johannes Rau.

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