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CNN Criticizes Korean Cloning Pioneer

Posted November. 26, 2005 07:19,   


World media outlets broadcast SNU Professor Hwang Woo-suk’s press conference Thursday where he apologized for using eggs from his own researchers. They primarily reported on his apology and “behind-closed-doors” stories, but also partly criticized Hwang’s practice.

CNN broadcast that “just a month ago, Hwang and his team gained world fame for cloning a dog, and the cloned dog, Snuppy, was chosen as this year`s most amazing invention by Time magazine. However, Hwang now finds himself in the dog house.” “In the dog house” is slang for losing face.

The BBC stated, “There are no international laws governing the use of cells and embryos, but scientists said a tough regulatory climate could prevent such abuses or misunderstandings.” BBC also cited Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the UK`s National Institute for Medical Research, saying, “The excellent research carried out by Hwang and his team must continue, but in a way that considers the ethics in an appropriate way.”

The New York Times reported, “Dr. Hwang`s fall from grace is a blow to South Korea, where he had become the modern, high-tech face that the nation sought to project the world. The scandal may also cloud plans to expand research to the U.S.”

The Washington Post said, “Hwang admitted that his team had used ova samples extracted from two of his junior scientists. Such practices are considered highly unethical in international scientific circles. It is widely viewed as off-limits because of the potential for subtle coercion, given the hierarchal structure of lab research, a phenomenon especially true in South Korea.”

Le Monde criticized Hwang’s apologies, saying, “Hwang said in our interview in June that his team received the eggs ‘with the full consent of all donors,’ but now it seems that most of the donors were actually not aware for what purposes their eggs were used.”

Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung reported, “The Korean government hesitantly announced that Hwang did not violate the law or ethics at that time. However, according to Korea’s new bioethics law, compensation for donating eggs is banned, so, at the very least, his intentions are being condemned.”