Alien Worshipers May Sue FDA Over Cloning Freeze
Beam me up Scotty. Life is frigging weird down here.
A few months ago, I ventured into the world of Raëlians for a UFO article, interviewing a couple of unique humanoids who believe they were created by aliens who live on a planet, by a star, a little less than one light year away.
The aliens, they said, are waiting until we humans are intellectually ready for them and have built them an embassy somewhere, before they come down to join us, their children.
Now it appears that one Raëlian business is contemplating taking on the Food and Drug Administration. It's not every day that the aliens challenge the government. Usually, it's the other way around.
Brigitte Boisselier, director of Clonaid (yes, that's their real name), a company describing itself as "the first laboratory trying to clone a human being," may sue the FDA for putting "an illegal freeze on the cloning process."
This "freeze" hits very close to home with Raëlians, who believe that cloning will get them one step closer to eternal life, and human creation. Here's how Ricky Roehr, president of the U.S. leg of the Raëlian religion, explained their perspectives on cloning back in April: "The Elohim, the extra terrestrials, created all life through genetic engineering. Not through cloning--but actually from the ground up. Cloning is only copying. But if you can copy, then you can do the reverse engineering and understand how it's built. ... But like any technology, when it's first introduced to the public, everybody wants to shut it down. And it won't be shut down."
The government, of course, disagrees.
The FDA says that human cloning experiments will need the agency's approval. But they don't plan on giving their approval any time soon because of safety concerns.
According to FDA spokeswoman Lenore Gelb, the government group inspected Boisselier's lab, and she agreed not to attempt cloning in the United States. Gelb couldn't elaborate further.
But now Boisselier is traveling across the country trying to popularize cloning and get support from journalists. She's making it clear that a lawsuit is on the horizon, and she already has the support of 55,000 members in 84 countries.
Clonaid, located in Syracuse, N.Y., and at another undisclosed site outside the United States, was started in 1997 by Raël, the Raëlian's founder who communicates with the Elohim or "people from the sky." He shares the Elohim's message with his devotees.
The Clonaid Web site seems more satirical than reality. It refers to the process as though it's a new lemon-scented dish detergent, or life-changing vitamin. And it can be yours for a mere $200,000! (Even though they've yet to successfully clone a human.) You can also cash in on INSURACLONE, which is "Available now!!!! Your cells preserved for a lifetime!!!" And you can get cloned for any old reason, the site boasts.
"If you are a sterile couple with no more hopes to get the child you have dreamed of, if you are a homosexual couple deeply wanting to have a child carrying your own genes," according to the site. "If you want to be cloned, whatever your reasons may be, then Clonaid has the right program for you either as a client or a partner."
And for those who are rich, or at least harbor cash-cloning skills, CLONAID also offers CLONAPET, a new service. "CLONAID, the human cloning company in the process of being structured, will soon offer a new service: the cloning of pets to wealthy individuals who wish to see their lost pet be brought back to life," according to the site. "This service will be offered to owners of racing horses, a very promising market given the outrageous prices paid for champions."
For more information about clonaid, see www.clonaid.com.