WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) - The Food and Drug Administration said on Monday it will intervene against any group or person who tries to clone a human being until rules are in place to regulate the practice.

      The statement comes just a week after Chicago physicist Richard Seed said he would set up a cloning clinic for parents who want cloned children. The FDA's warning is seen as giving state and federal lawmakers time to carefully consider legislation that will ban human cloning without infringing legitimate genetic research. "One man who's on the fringe has drawn a lot of attention in Washington and state capitals," said Dr. Benjamin Younger of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. "If they are going to do this, come up with legislation that bans cloning but protects research."

      The FDA said it is trying to get in contact with Seed to warn him not try cloning a person without a FDA approval, which the agency said is highly unlikely. "The scientific issues are far from clear and ... there are some significant ethical concerns that have to be dealt with," said Dr. Michael Friedman, acting FDA commissioner. Seed has said he plans to clone a person within 18 months. He has no medical degree, no laboratory backing, and little money, so many scientists aren't taking him seriously.

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January 21, 1998 volume 9, no. 15          DAILY CATHOLIC