12:30 pm

There is no law to prevent human cloning from taking place in New Zealand, according to Labour list MP Dianne Yates.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand (RNZ) this morning, Ms Yates, who introduced a bill to parliament on the issue, said there was no specific mention of cloning in any New Zealand legislation.

Italian gynaecologist Severino Antinori sparked controversy yesterday when he told a conference in Rome he had sufficient volunteers for his first human cloning experiment which he planned to conduct later this year.


Ms Yates said the National Ethics Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction, the body that regulates these issues in New Zealand, does not have "teeth" and "nor does it have the budget to follow up any of its recommendations".

"Although they exist, they give advice and they give opinions, there is no redress through that ethics committee," she told RNZ.

Ms Yates' bill is currently before the select committee and proposes to ban human cloning and any profit from the process.