Letter: Twins take terror out of clone debate

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The Independent Online
Sir: The production of Dolly, the cloned sheep, is sad evidence of a prevailing attitude that animals are commodities which can be manipulated and mutated to suit our needs.

We don't know how many other sheep embryos did not develop normally, nor do we know if other cloned lambs died at birth, in the course of producing Dolly. And we will have to wait many years before we understand how further generations of cloned sheep will develop; playing with DNA is at best dangerous, and at worst, could be disastrous.

It is not even clear what the purpose of producing such clones is. Whilst we have seen much speculation about their potential for researching disease, we have no evidence that any real benefit will come from this. Nor will we know whether any results from research on these animals will bridge species differences, until humans are used as guinea pigs.

Science could be far superior if we invested limited funds in experimenting with human tissue cultures in the test tube, for example, rather than being sidetracked into playing God with animals.

MIKE BAKER

Director, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection

London N7

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