Clonaid claims second cloned human born

Sunday, January 5, 2003

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Clonaid, the company that claims to have produced the first human clone, said Saturday a second cloned baby has been born to a Dutch lesbian couple.

Neither baby has been confirmed to be a clone by genetic testing, and mainstream scientists are skeptical of the company's claims.

Clonaid spokeswoman Nadine Gary said the child was born Friday night, but declined to say where. Gary said she expects the second baby will undergo genetic testing to show it is a clone, with DNA identical to that of its mother.

But Thursday, chemist Brigitte Boisselier -- Clonaid's chief executive and top scientist -- said the parents of the earlier baby were balking on testing.

Last month Clonaid claimed to have produced Eve, a cloned girl purportedly born to U.S. parents on Dec. 26. But the company has yet to provide DNA test results to confirm the claim.

Boisselier has said the parents of the second baby want to remain anonymous.

Spokeswoman Gary said that, while the parents are Dutch, the birth did not take place in the Netherlands, where cloning is illegal.

Boisselier is a member of the Raelians, a religious sect that believes beings from outer space created life on earth. Its founder, a former French journalist who calls himself Rael, established Clonaid in 1997.

Clonaid sells "cloning" services and products, and may benefit from the publicity around its claims, whether they are true or false.

Cloning technology is not reliable and most scientists say it is difficult, unethical and risky to attempt to clone humans.

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