Footnote to the Footnote

The UN has issued its non-binding declaration calling for bans on therapeutic cloning, the last gasp for US-backed efforts to craft an international treaty criminalizing this important medical research. A few quotes from Wired, which wraps this into the broader topic of science and politics in the US:

The politicization of science policy in the United States has become a contentious issue in the past several years, with groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists criticizing the Bush administration for favoring political interests over scientific results. Now, that trend seems to be making international inroads.

Nations including Singapore, South Korea, Belgium and the United Kingdom blasted the declaration by the divided U.N. committee, calling it political posturing.


"In the scientific community in other countries we are ridiculed," said Kurt Gottfried, chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an interview. "It has certainly lowered our prestige across the world."

U.S. delegates to the United Nations supported a treaty to ban all cloning starting in 2002. After nearly two years of negotiations, the U.N. shelved attempts to agree on a treaty and instead delegates opposed to cloning pushed for a non-binding declaration as a compromise.


The United States is becoming notorious in the eyes of other countries, Gottfried said, as a nation that has allowed ideology to become a premise for science. That perception is sure to have harmful repercussions on the American science community, he said. Scientists are already leaving the country and graduate students are less uninterested in studying in the United States, he said.

South Korean politicians have declared they will not interfere with therapeutic cloning research:

South Korea will continue its stem cell research despite the anti-cloning resolution of a U.N. committee, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare Monday.

"It is just a non-binding declaration and we have no plan to review our policy of allowing therapeutic cloning," the ministry's manager Kim Heon-joo said.


When contacted, Hwang's team echoed the stance of the health ministry, saying the U.N. resolution is simply a recommendation and that they would continue with their cloning research.

"We don't know much about the U.N. decision but we don't feel bound by it. We will continue our stem cell research as long as Korea sees it as legal," said SNU professor Kang Sung-keun, one of Hwang's top lieutenants.


This is an outrage, again we see the failure of the present political field of dealing with world problems. Politicians have allowed hunger, disease, and illness to run rampant throughout the world, now even symbolically they attempt to hinder progress.

What we've got across the globe are not even democracies, but pathetic attempts at it. Nations filled with ill-informed individuals of low intellectual capacity(on average.), brainwashed by the corporate media, a surpersticious lot, that believes all the BS that is spun in this day and age.

Thankfully a few are wise enough to allow for progress. But the day will come when the calling of democracy will be heard, and informed individuals with enhanced intellect will be the ones making the decisions.

Posted by: Apocalypse at February 22nd, 2005 12:18 PM
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