Dear Senator:

The current opportunities in biomedical research are unparalleled in our nation's history. To ensure that these continue, the scientific and organized medicine communities in the United States urge you to oppose legislation that would prohibit the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer due to the grave implications it may have for future advances in biomedical research and human healing.

We agree with the American public that the cloning of human beings should not proceed at this time. However, the current legislative proposals in Congress would have a chilling effect on vital areas of research that could prove to be of enormous public benefit. Rather than legislation, we believe that the self-imposed five-year voluntary moratorium on the cloning of human beings, which has been adopted by the medical research community, is the appropriate course of action. This approach is the only way to ensure continued medical progress and to protect the public's interest.

We know a self-imposed moratorium works. In the early 1970s, the American public and the scientific community faced a similar dilemma with the emergence of recombinant DNA technology. At that time, the medical community adopted a self-imposed moratorium on the use of the technology until stringent guidelines and regulatory safeguards were put in place. With this deliberate approach, medical science has provided tremendous benefits over the last 20 years to the health and well being of all Americans, and our economy.

Two shining examples of the benefits resulting from this technology are the mapping of the human genome and the growth of the biotechnology industry.

Like the recombinant DNA debate, the scientific techniques involved in cloning research hold great promise for our ability to ultimately treat and manage myriad diseases and disorders -- from cancer and heart disease, to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, to infertility and HIV/AIDS. We must not impede these research opportunities in our eagerness to forestall an outcome that can be accomplished just as effectively with a voluntary moratorium.

In addition to the research and medical communities' acceptance of a five-year moratorium on human cloning, we believe the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) existing authority to regulate any attempts to replicate human beings, and its announced intention to refuse consideration of such proposals, effectively protects the public. The FDA approval process is rigorous and has been duly tested over time. The self-imposed moratorium coupled with FDA's oversight is a strong combination.

This letter was signed by the following organizations

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

American Association of Anatomists

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Immunologists

American College of Medical Genetics

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

American College of Rheumatology

American Pediatric Society

American Society for Clinical Nutrition

American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Human Genetics

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

American Veterinary Medical Association

Americans for Medical Progress

Association for Medical School Pharmacology

Association of American Cancer Institutes

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Academic Health Centers

Association of Independent Research Institutes

Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry

Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs

Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairmen

Baylor College of Medicine

Biotechnology Industry Organization

Brown University Division of Biology and Medicine

Chicago Medical School

Columbia University

Cooley's Anemia Foundation

Cornell University Medical College

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

East Carolina University School of Medicine

Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology

Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Genetics Society of America

George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

The Health, Safety and Research Alliance of New York State, Inc.

Jeffrey Modell Foundation

Lymphoma Research Foundation of America

Medical College of Wisconsin

National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research

National Association for Biomedical Research

National Caucus of Basic Biomedical Science Chairs

National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association

National Marfan Foundation

National Osteoporosis Foundation

New York University Medical Center

Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation

The Paget Foundation

Parkinson's Action Network

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA)

PXE International

Research! America

Research Society on Alcoholism


Scleroderma Foundation, Inc.

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders

Society for Pediatric Research

Society for the Study of Reproduction

Society of Medical College Directors of Continuing Medical Education

University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA School of Medicine

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

University of Vermont College of Medicine

Woodruff Health Science Center of Emory University