French Bishops Attack British Cloning Move

French bishops today warned against what it said was the ”very, very grave danger” posed by Britain’s decision to grant a licence for human cloning.

The line has been crossed,” said Monsignor Stanislas Lalanne, spokesman for the Conference of Bishops of France.

A licence has been granted to the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne where researchers hope eventually to create insulin-producing cells that could be transplanted into diabetics.

Scientists envision using cloning to create an embryo from a patient and extract stem cells, seen as a promising avenue for treating diseases from diabetes to Parkinson’s.

Stem cells can potentially grow into any type of human tissue and scientists hope to be able to direct the blank cells to grow into specific cell types needed for transplant.

But the French bishops said that “the end does not justify the means.”

Such a move represents a “very, very grave danger for the future of humanity,” Lalanne said.

“Creating an embryo risks totally placing the human embryo in the range of things,” he said. “And I think for the future of humanity it is essential to consider the embryo as belonging to humanity.”