baby saga is an ugly circus, says doctor
6, 2003 3:47am
Goddard in Miami
by an alien-worshipping chemist to have created a second human clone
were denounced as a hoax yesterday as America's scientific community
likened her to the ringmaster in an "ugly circus".
Boisselier's announcement that a cloned baby had been born to a
Dutch lesbian couple was met with scepticism because of her continued
failure to submit "Eve" - another cloned child who she claims was
born to an American couple last month - for independent genetic
she announced the birth of Eve last month, US television networks
screened her rambling Florida press conference live, scrambling
pundits to debate whether she really had created the world's first
doubted it, as Dr Boisselier's involvement with the bizarre Raelian
cult has clouded her credentials. But her promise to provide proof
still tantalised her detractors.
nine days later, news of the alleged birth of a second Boisselier-created
clone drew little but scepticism.
me, the failure to produce test results signals one thing - that
she is a fraud and this cloned baby claim is a hoax," said Art Caplan,
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Centre for
Bio-Ethics. "She can claim a clone on every continent, but no one
will believe her."
Zavos, a Kentucky-based expert in reproductive medicine and cloning
- who until last year worked in association with Severino Antinori,
an Italian fertility expert who also claims to have a clone on the
way - said he had no faith in Dr Boisselier.
can stand up and look pretty in front of a camera and say: ``We
have got it, we've cloned a baby', but where's the beef? In science,
you don't cut corners, you don't tell untruths, you don't come up
with these things without proof."
added: "This is too ugly a show . . . it's an ugly circus."
Boisselier says the delay in having the child independently examined
is down to a lawsuit launched in Florida last week that calls for
Eve to be placed under court protection - if indeed she exists -
because she may be at risk and is the subject of a "dangerous medical
child advocacy lawyer Bernard Siegel said: "Who does that child
have who will speak up for her? She is being used like a guinea
Robert Lanza, who in 2001 became the first scientist to clone human
embryos as a source of stem cells for research into potential cures
for disease, accused Dr Boisselier of using the lawsuit as an easy
woman has a complete lack of credibility. She could have run these
tests without revealing the identity of the baby or the parents
to anybody. The lawsuit was just a convenient excuse that doesn't
stand up," he said.
the leader of the cult who founded Dr Boisselier's Clonaid research
company, has abandoned his Florida holiday and fled back to his
headquarters in Montreal, Canada, following Mr Siegel's threat to
serve him with papers ordering him to produce Eve in court.
crucial player in the cloning drama was also lying low yesterday.
Michael Guillen, a former US television science editor chosen by
Dr Boisselier to oversee "independent" DNA tests on the mysterious
Eve, is revealed to have been working on the story in league with
Dr Boisselier for some months. It emerged that he had been making
a documentary on her work and hawking it around the major networks
for more than US$100,000.
say Dr Guillen is worried about his situation as Dr Boisselier has
reportedly pulled the plug on his plans.
2002. All Rights Reserved.
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