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Jun 25, 2001
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

Bush's precautionary principle

Commentary

Bush's precautionary principle

Biotech companies have no choice but to fight the Bush administration's move to ban therapeutic cloning research, and only partially because the technology holds potential to provide important medical advances in the treatment of diabetes, neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and cardiovascular disease.

The White House policy represents a dangerous step toward the erosion of rational regulation of science, and thus the implications of the logic employed by Bush and other supporters of the Weldon/Brownback legislation in Congress are more worrying than the proposed ban itself.

Indeed, the White House policy represents an astonishing capitulation to fear, reversing decades of American leadership in the oversight and development of technology for the public good, while remaining vigilant for misuses of technology by both individuals and governments. Simply put, the chief executive of the nation apparently has decided that science no longer can be managed without banning it.

Rather than stating that using somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to create therapies is inherently immoral or unethical, Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Claude Allen told a congressional subcommittee last week that it...

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