Today on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly pushed the incorrect right-wing talking point that the Missouri ballot initiative on stem cells would allow human cloning. Watch it:
The Missouri ballot initiative clearly prohibits human cloning and makes it a felony crime. The initiative reads, “No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.” The amendment does protect somatic cell nuclear transplant (SCNT), but it is not the same as human cloning, despite Wallace’s claim. Medical researchers, patient advocates, and others point out that the SCNT does not aim to duplicate a human being.
Additionally, as McCaskill notes, the initiative would actually tighten regulations for stem cell research by creating “a legal framework with sound ethical guidelines for this kind of research which frankly we don’t have in Missouri right now.”
Full transcript below:
WALLACE: Let’s turn to domestic issues. Stem cell research is a big issue in your campaign as it is in several around the country, and it’s particularly true in Missouri because there’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot that your opponent points out would allow some forms of human cloning. You support that measure.
McCASKILL: I do. But I disagree with Sen. Talent’s analysis. As a lawyer looking and reading the measure, it is very clear that it strictly prohibits human cloning. In fact, it provides a legal framework with sound ethical guidelines for this kind of research which frankly we don’t have in Missouri right now. So not only would it make sure the research could go forward in Missouri as long as it was legal at the federal level, it also will provide a much needed ethical and legal framework for this research that all of us want in Missouri and frankly all of us want in America.
WALLACE: But, Mrs. McCaskill, the ballot measure provides for something — this gets technical — provides for something called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is a form of therapeutic cloning. Isn’t that a slippery slope if you get into any kind of cloning at all?
McCaskill: Well, the bottom line is you are not going to get a baby out of a petri dish. This measure, which we don’t have right now, strictly prohibits any implantation of any cells in order for a human being to be created.