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Brigitte Boisselier breaks 5-year silence, offers to ease cloning costs for Clonaid clients willing to go public Six years to the day after the birth of Baby Eve, the first cloned child, Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, head of the company that leads the Clonaid project, said Eve and other babies cloned by her company are growing up healthy and normal - and with no one invading their families' privacy.
"We've helped almost 100 families who were desperate to have a child," Boisselier said. "Our reward has been to see a number of cloned babies growing up normally, like any infant born through natural reproduction or through in vitro fertilization." But she said the time has come to take things a step further.
"As of now, the Clonaid and Stemaid teams are ready to facilitate the cloning of one or more additional individuals at a reduced rate, provided they would agree - under contract - to go public after being cloned," Boisselier said. "We believe this is the right time to show publicly what we can do and offer the proof people wanted after the birth of Baby Eve." She said many types of clients can benefit from her company's cloning technology.
"We can give hope to infertile and homosexual couples, to people who've lost a beloved family member and to single men and women who want a child created exclusively from their own genes," Boisselier said. "And we can also help those who suffer from ailments that can be cured with their own stem cells." In addition, Boisselier announced the team's 500th clone blastocyst.
"Back in early 2002 when we had our first human clone blastocysts, we needed an average of 30 human eggs to get one good blastocyst," Boisselier explained.
"Now, after seven years of practice, for every three eggs fused, we can repeatedly prepare one clone blastocyst. This is a milestone achievement." Boisselier said 70 percent of the refined cloning technology developed by Clonaid scientists is now used for the preparation of embryonic stem cells made available through Clonaid's sister company, Stemaid (www.stemaid.com).
"I was tremendously moved by the happiness of those we've helped to have children through our cloning project," she said. "But I was probably even more touched when I saw a Stemaid patient who had had a stroke and then was treated with embryonic stem cells created through our cloning technology. After having several years of impaired speech, she was able to speak normally again." Boisselier said that when her 2002 announcement of the first cloned baby was treated as a hoax after the parents decided not to go public, she chose to respect the privacy requests of other such parents as well.
"In doing so, I gained the trust of all future Clonaid patients as well as the necessary privacy to develop the technology further," she explained. "But we've come a long way since then. It's time to show the world the proof of what we're doing."
LAS VEGAS, May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is issued by The United States Raelian Movement:
One of the Raelian Movement's most outspoken U.S. critics, Joseph McGowen, has just settled out of court for undisclosed damages, which include a non-disparagement order that he may never speak about the Raelian Movement again.
McGowen was the partner of Abdullah Hashem, the Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) film student who made a documentary about the Movement after infiltrating an annual seminar in Las Vegas in 2005.
The Raelian Movement filed federal racketeering charges against Hashem and McGowen following years of alleged lies and totally unfounded criticism.
"We very much support people's rights to their opinions -- but we'll never tolerate lies, or spreading or repeating false rumors about us," said Ricky Roehr, the Movement's North American president. "When McGowen was welcomed at our seminar, he signed an agreement stating that all film footage recorded during the seminar belonged to the Movement. Despite this agreement, he not only tried to use and sell the footage but told the media many untrue, hurtful things about Rael, the Movement and its members. As a result, he was eventually sued in federal court and settled with us after admitting he really knew nothing about us. If he speaks ill about the Raelian Movement or its members again in the future, there will be severe consequences under the terms of the settlement. This should be an abject lesson about the dangers of irresponsible journalism."
Roehr added, "After claiming to be working on an objective documentary about the Movement, Hashem and McGowen either fabricated or grossly exaggerated our position on almost every issue in most of their interviews from the seminar they were invited to.
They then tried to sell our film footage for $1 million, and when no one bought it, they debuted the film at IUPUI to generate attention and attract investors. So-called 'journalists' like these have damaged the lives and reputations of many people, religions and races throughout history. We will always not only denounce such efforts but defend ourselves against them to the full extent of the law."
McGowen's settlement follows only days after a Canadian court ruled harshly against other journalists who claimed to have infiltrated a Raelian seminar in Canada in 2003.
Hearings concerning Hashem will resume June 26 in a California Federal Court.