A controversial doctor has claimed to have cloned human embryos and transferred them to four women prepared to give birth to the first cloned babies.
Fertility specialist Panayiotis Zavos sensationally broke the sacred taboo of human individuality by cloning 14 embryos and placing 11 of them into the wombs of four women, he told The Independent.
A British woman was alleged to be among the one single and three married patients who were said to be happy to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purpose of human reproduction.
The other women came from the United States and an unidentified country in the Middle East.
A documentary-maker told The Independent that he filmed the process as evidence that cloning took place, with the consent of the women.
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The process, which is illegal in Britain and many other countries, was probably carried out in a secret laboratory in the Middle East, where cloning is not banned.
None of the embryo transfers led to a pregnancy but Dr Zavos, a naturalised American who runs fertility clinics in Kentucky and Cyprus, where he was born, said yesterday that this was just the ‘first chapter’ in his serious attempts at producing a baby cloned from the skin cells of its ‘parent’.
He said: ‘There is absolutely no doubt about it, and I may not be the one that does it, but the cloned child is coming. There is absolutely no way that it will not happen.’