Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association: Please Amend SB 243/AB 499–Cloning


TO: All Members of the Wisconsin Senate

FROM: Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association
Ron Kuehn, Vice President-Government Relations

SUBJECT: Please Amend SB 243/AB 499–Cloning

DATE: June 24, 2005

Our Association represents Wisconsin’s 250 biotechnology and medical device companies and their 20,000 Wisconsin employees. We urge you to consider an amendment to SB 243/AB 499 when you debate this bill. The amendment would prohibit human cloning for reproductive purposes, but allow cloning for research and therapeutic uses.

We believe that such an amendment would resolve the primary ethical concern that cloning presents, while, at the same time, allowing very promising human health scientific research to proceed.

The development of the science that our Wisconsin biotech/device companies rely upon to produce $5.5 billion in annual product sales is dependent upon the scientific freedom to pursue basic research. Without that freedom, subject to reasonable ethical standards, advancement of human health care science in Wisconsin cannot be fully realized.

Our member scientists, like the authors of this legislation, take the ethical considerations of this research very seriously. We respect those with whom we disagree. Nonetheless, we do disagree with the authors as to where the ethical line in cloning should be drawn.

Our science-based community of Wisconsin businesses believes the line should be drawn between the use of cloning for scientific research and therapeutic (human health care) applications, and cloning for the purpose of human reproduction. We believe that the intent of the act of cloning, as well as the results of the act, are both essential for measuring the ethics of this science. Therapeutic cloning neither intends, nor results in the reproduction of a human being. We should not, therefore, legislate a prohibition on this important area of human health research.