Headlines in Britain and the U.S. last week heralded the "news" that U.K. Health Secretary Alan Milburn had announced that a bill to ban reproductive human cloning would be submitted to Parliament. Although the intention to ban cloning for birth wasn't new - the government announced last August that it would introduce such legislation - other aspects of Milburn's speech were important both for the U.K. and the U.S., because they highlighted some of the comparative strengths of the British regulatory environment for controversial genetic technologies.

"This government has a new ambition for Britain - to put us at the leading edge of advances in genetic technologies and to develop modern genetic health services unrivalled anywhere else in the