Baby Girl Born through Cloning?
- Uh, huh....!
New York Times, Saturday
Cloning Company Says Baby Might Not Be Tested After
By KENNETH CHANG
The company that said last week that it had produced
the first human clone has backed away from a promise
to provide genetic proof even as it said a second
clone would be born in Europe over the weekend.
Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, chief executive of the
company, Clonaid, told France-2 TV on Thursday that no
genetic tests had yet been performed and that the
parents were having second thoughts about the tests.
"The parents told me that they needed 48 hours to
decide yes or no if they would do it," she said.
At a news conference on Dec. 27 announcing the cloning
claim, Dr. Boisselier said Michael A. Guillen, a
former ABC News science editor, would arrange
independent genetic tests of the baby, who the company
says is a clone of her mother.
"You can still go back to your office and treat me as
a fraud," Dr. Boisselier said then. "You have one week
to do that."
One week later, Dr. Boisselier has not provided any
evidence that the baby, nicknamed Eve, even exists,
much less that it is a clone.
Dr. Guillen, who has not spoken publicly since last
week's news conference, did not respond to requests
A person close to Dr. Guillen, who spoke on the
condition of confidentiality, confirmed that no
samples had been taken, but said Dr. Guillen had
completed arrangements to conduct the testing.
"The team is in place to get the answers," the person
said. "By early next week, Guillen will have to make
some sort of a statement if nothing has changed."
In the France-2 TV interview, Dr. Boisselier said the
parents were reconsidering the DNA testing because a
Miami lawyer petitioned a court in Broward County,
Fla., on Tuesday, asking it to appoint a guardian for
The lawyer, Bernard F. Siegel, said in an interview
yesterday that he had acted under a Florida law that
allows an individual to seek court protection for a
child who has been abused, neglected or abandoned.
"The child has potential medical defects," Mr. Siegel
said. "This child has been the subjected to untested
medical experiments. Where is the safety net for that?
This child, more than any child on earth, needs a
Clonaid has not said where the parents live, but the
Florida court may have jurisdiction, in part because
Clonaid held its news conference in Hollywood, Fla.
Mr. Siegel said he became involved child advocacy
cases in the 1970's, working for parents whose
children had been kidnapped by estranged spouses. Mr.
Siegel, who interrupted his legal career in the 1990's
for a stint as a wrestling promoter, said he knew
little about Clonaid before last week.
A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 22, Mr. Siegel
Dr. Boisselier did not identify the European country
in which she said the second clone would be born.
Nadine Gary, a spokeswoman for Clonaid, said yesterday
that Dr. Boisselier was traveling to the United States
from Europe and was unavailable for comment. Ms. Gary
said she could not comment on what Dr. Boisselier said
on French television. "Really, I don't know anything
about that," Ms. Gary said.
But she added, "There are different press releases
that will be coming out this weekend."
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