Whether a United Nations body will recommend that some human cloning be allowed is -- at this point -- still too close to call, according to a Canadian researcher who just returned from Paris where the group is meeting.
"It could go either way," Rosario Isasi, a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre de recherche en droit public at the University of Montreal and a law and bioethics expert, told me this afternoon.
Isasi, who had to return to Canada before the International Bioethics Committee could make a decision, has been working the phones and sending e-mails to find out what happened. No announcement has been made by the committee, which is part of UNESCO.
Isasi was an expert witness when the United Nations last dealt with the issue in 2005 in the form of a vote in the General Assembly that led to a complete ban on human cloning. She said attitudes among member nations seem to have changed little in the ensuing years.
Stem cell researchers have held out hope that the UN would move to allow therapeutic cloning, which they could use in their research, while still banning reproductive cloning. Religious groups, particularly the Catholic church, have opposed any cloning.
Canada is set to review next March its laws banning all human cloning.