Turning off the Funds

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ever since Dolly the cloned sheep shocked the world people have wondered: Is it possible to put the cloning genie back in the bottle? Once we know it's possible, can we prevent the cloning of humans? Tuesday, President Clinton offered his own solution: cut off the money supply. Trying to stop "people from playing God," Clinton imposed a ban on federal funding for human cloning experiments and called for a voluntary moratorium on privately-funded research as well. "Each human life is unique, born of a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science," he said. "I believe we must respect this profound gift and resist the temptation to replicate ourselves." For the most part, the American public agrees: 74 percent say it's against God's will to clone a human, according to a TIME/CNN poll. The President had already taken a tentative step towards reassuring the public last week when he asked a federal commission to study the legal and ethical implications of cloning, and a House panel will take up the matter later this week. An Administration official said that the recent cloning of two rhesus monkeys, a move that inched cloning science closer to replicating humans, prompted the decision. While no human cloning projects currently receive government funds, existing regulations do not explicitly rule out the possibility. But no laws currently in place prevent privately funded operations from carrying out research on human cells, and even if they did, it would be extremely difficult to police clandestine or offshore labs. Meaning that despite the Presidential policy, the genie is probably not going back in the bottle.