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17:26 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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 Russian parliament approves bill to extend ban on human cloning

Russian parliament approves bill to extend ban on human cloning

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The upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, approved on Wednesday a government bill to extend a ban on human cloning.

The upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, approved on Wednesday a government bill to extend a ban on human cloning.

The bill has already been approved by the lower house, the State Duma, but is yet to be signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev.

The draft says that the ban on human cloning will continue in Russia until the adoption of new legislation regulating the cloning process.

The original 2002 law does not prohibit the cloning of cells and organisms for scientific and research purposes, human organs for transplantation or the cloning of animals.

Human cloning has been a subject of debate since the 1960s. Although technology for human cloning remains incomplete, its advocates have already faced a number of legal, aesthetic and religious challenges.

The chairman of the Federation Council social policy committee, Valentina Petrenko, said a ban on human cloning has already been introduced in most of the world's leading countries.

Human cloning is formally permitted in the U.S. and Britain. The later became the first country to legalize the cloning of human embryos for stem cell research in 2001.

Therapeutic cloning, which involves the production of stem cells from embryos, was permitted in the U.S. a few days after Barack Obama's inauguration as president. The law on this type of cloning requires embryos to be destroyed within 14 days. Obama, however, ruled out reproductive cloning, which he called "dangerous" and "profoundly wrong." It "has no place in our society or any society", he said.

Russia's moratorium on human cloning expired on June 23, 2007.

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)