Brownback, Landrieu introduce Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act

 

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2009

Contact: Brian Hart or Becky Ogilvie

 

Brownback, Landrieu introduce Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009.

“This legislation works to ensure that our society recognizes the dignity and sacredness of human life,” said Brownback.  “Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice.”

The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act would ban the creation of human-animal hybrids.  Human-animal hybrids are defined as those part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species.  The bill is modest in scope and only affects efforts to blur the genetic lines between animals and humans.  It does not preclude the use of animals or humans in legitimate research or health care where genetic material is not passed on to future generations, such as the use of a porcine heart valve in a human patient or the use of a lab rat with human diseases to develop treatments.

Brownback continued, “This legislation is both philosophical and practical as it has a direct bearing upon the very essence of what it means to be human, and it draws a bright line with respect to how far we can go in attempting to create new creatures made with genes from both humans and animals.

“My background is in agriculture, and for a number of years we have been working with crops and animals to produce a superior soy bean, a superior cow, and so-on.  We can genetically engineer safe products and herds that are disease resistant or that possess more desirable attributes.  But doing this in plants and livestock is very different than doing this in humans.

“The issue is that when you make changes in the germ-line, such changes are passed along to one’s offspring.  You could make a change now that could be passed along through the gene-pool for the rest of humanity.  We do not know what the full effect of this could be, and it could be disastrous. 

“Tampering with the human germ-line could be the equivalent to setting a time-bomb that might detonate many generations down the line; but once it is set, there is no reversing course.

“I am optimistic that our nation we will make a sound choice for the generations to come.  Already, in Louisiana last month, Governor Jindal signed legislation into law that would prohibit the creation of human-animal hybrids.  That law is modeled after earlier versions of the legislation that we introduce today.”

The following senators are orginal co-sponsors:  Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mel Martinez (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

Sam Brownback
United States Senator – Kansas
303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

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