Chinese Firm Chief Executive Says Human Cloning Already Possible

Xu thinks Boyalife could totally clone humans if everyone got suddenly cool about cloning humans.
Darren Whittingham via Getty Images

Boyalife Group, a Chinese cloning company, announced last month that it’s setting up shop in Tianjin, a northern port city, along with partner Sooam Biotech Research Foundation. By mid-2016, Boyalife said in a statement, Tianjin will be home to a fully functional animal cloning facility. Boyalife explains:

The plant in the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), a government-sponsored business development park, will clone animals including sniffer and pet dogs, beef cattle and racehorses … It will produce 100,000 cattle embryos a year initially, eventually increasing to 1 million, said Xu Xiaochun, board chairman of Boyalife Group, based in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The idea is to clone cattle for consumption, in an effort to combat China’s beef shortage. But in an interview with Agence-France Presse, Xu said that his plan for the cloning facility goes far beyond creating 100,000 cloned cows. Xu wants to clone humans as, he said, he already can. But he won’t, for now. From AFP:

The technology is already there,” Xu said. “If this is allowed, I don’t think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology.” The firm does not currently engage in human cloning activities, Xu said, adding that it has to be “self-restrained” because of possible adverse reaction.

In other words, Xu thinks Boyalife could totally clone humans if everyone got suddenly cool about cloning humans. And he thinks they might, now that homophobia is on the outs. Here’s AFP parsing through that faulty logic:

But social values can change, [Xu] pointed out, citing changing views of homosexuality and suggesting that in time humans could have more choices about their own reproduction. “Unfortunately, currently, the only way to have a child is to have it be half its mum, half its dad,” he said. “Maybe in the future you have three choices instead of one,” he went on. “You either have fifty-fifty, or you have a choice of having the genetics 100 percent from Daddy or 100 percent from Mummy. This is only a choice.”

Xu’s not the only one with creepy plans for cloning. Last year, the South Korean Sooam Biotech launched dog cloning service. For $100,000, Sooam Biotech will clone your beloved dead pet.

Xu will likely face challenges even before humans are added to the list of clonable animals. The New York Times reported that the project has not yet been given final approval by the Chinese government: “Before bringing cloned beef to the market, Mr. Xu said, his company must receive the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies. He did not elaborate.” Good luck, we guess.

Also on WorldPost:

Gravity Giant Productions via Getty Images
Chimps -- our closest relative -- share about 98 percent of our genes.
fStop Images - Vladimir Godnik via Getty Images
Your friendly feline companion shares about 90 percent of human DNA.
Andrew Bret Wallis via Getty Images
Man's best friend shares about 84 percent of iDNA with humans.
Bob Elsdale via Getty Images
Mooo-ve over acorn worm -- cows share about 80 percent of our DNA.
Janette Hill via Getty Images
About 75 percent of mouse genes have equivalents in humans.
Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Inga Spence via Getty Images
We share about 73 percent of our genetic code with zebrafish.
Human DNA is about 69 percent shared with these little guys.
Fruit Flies
The fruit fly shares about 60 percent of its DNA with humans.
Allan Baxter via Getty Images
About 60 percent of chicken genes correspond to a similar human gene.
Pavlo_K via Getty Images
How's this for bizarre? Bananas and humans -- 50 percent.
Honey Bees
Buzzing right around, bees share about 44 percent of human DNA.
bhofack2 via Getty Images
We share about 26 percent of our "housekeeping" genes with these single-cell organisms.
Mustard Grass
We share approximately 15 percent of our DNA with this plant.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community