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Therapeutic Cloning Should Not Be Banned

March 17, 2003

Re "The Good Kind of Cloning," editorial, March 12:

Sen. Sam Brownback's (R-Kan.) proposed criminal sanctions against all types of human cloning have certainly gotten my attention (up to 10 years in jail and $1 million in fines for attempting therapeutic cloning anywhere within U.S. law enforcement jurisdiction). On the other hand, a competing bill proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) actually encourages me to try. As a medical scientist interested in the comparison of adult versus embryonic stem cells, what should I do? Move to another country?

And how would the passage of Brownback's bill, which you characterized as a "sledgehammer," affect our current state law that went into effect here in California on Jan. 1? Is it true that there would be no grandfather provision for an earlier state law that conflicted with a newly minted federal law?

Steve Coles MD

Director, Los Angeles

Gerontology Research Group

Marina del Rey

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