- FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters)
- Clonaid, the company that says it produced two cloned human babies but
has given no evidence, said on Saturday it raises money for its project
but declined to give details of the company's legal status, financial position
or where it is based.
- Clonaid was founded by the Raelian sect that believes
humans were originally created by aliens who mastered cloning. Leading
scientists believe the company's claim in the last two weeks to have successfully
cloned humans is a hoax.
- At a news conference, Clonaid vice president Thomas Kaenzig
was as elusive about the company's structure as Clonaid has been about
giving proof of its alleged scientific breakthrough, which has also alarmed
religious leaders and ethics experts.
- Kaenzig, facing a barrage of questions before speaking
at an investment conference, urged the journalists to report facts, but
provided almost none.
- Kaenzig declined to say where the company is based, where
any of its physical premises are, what its legal status is, or to give
any indication of its finances, other than that it was not registered in
the United States. He also said a Clonaid legal entity, Valiant Venture,
was registered several years ago in the Bahamas but that government canceled
- "We do have different legal entities, different
companies, not in the United States," he said. "I don't want
to go into details of what kind of legal entity we're talking about."
- He said Clonaid had received e-mailed death threats after
the first announcement of a cloned baby, but gave no details.
- Clonaid announced on Dec. 27 at a South Florida hotel
that it had produced the world's first cloned baby, called Eve and born
on Dec. 26 to an American mother. Last week, it said a second cloned baby
was born on Jan. 3 to a Dutch woman.
- The company has said in recent days it delayed DNA testing
that could prove the cloning because the parents want their privacy and
have legal concerns. On Monday, the independent scientist and journalist
brought in by Clonaid to verify the cloning of a human denounced their
claim as a possible hoax.
- Clonaid was invited to speak at the conference on cloning
in general as an investment possibility, said Marilyn Clark, a vice president
for sponsor Royal Expo Money, but added that it could not solicit investment.
- Kaenzig said shares were sold -- although he did not
say of what company -- usually with a minimum value of $25,000, to investors,
and potential investors could contact the company for more information
through e-mail. The company also lists a Las Vegas phone number to request
- He said the parents of the first cloned babies had not
paid for the service but eventually Clonaid would charge $100,000 to $200,000
for the procedure.