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Cloning and liberty

Dolly's arrival has been greeted as a threat rather than a great advance. We should stop debating how to ban human cloning and start celebrating its potential benefits instead

By Matt Ridley   April 1997

The arrival of the cloned sheep Dolly seems to have taken the world by surprise. New York State rushed through an anti-cloning law, a French minister babbled about six-legged chickens and news editors dashed around looking for pictures of Hitler.

BBC reporters were visibly discomforted to find that Britain actually had better laws in place to stop human cloning than other countries, for this left them without their usual line of attack. But all were agreed that this news had come (in Bryan Appleyard’s words) from left field. The first cloned animal was not expected for decades, if at all.

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