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Netherlands Bank Code: No Funds for Human Genetic Modification

Genetic Crossroads
December 7th, 2000

A Netherlands financial institution, the Rabobank Group, has published
a "draft code of conduct regarding genetic modification" that says in
part, "The Rabobank Group will not finance or become involved in the
genetic modification and cloning of people." The code also states that
the "bank will, in principle, not finance genetic modification of animals
either, unless the risks are acceptable from a scientific point of view
and there is broad support for it in society."

The code pledges to take "existing laws and regulations as its guideline
for action, because these reflect the dominant values and standards of
a democratic society," and to "apply the precautionary principle." This
does not constitute "a wait-and-see attitude towards the risks and
problems which may occur," the code states, "but an early and careful
consideration of the possible dangers and risks and risk management
attached to the development of new technology." The code is on-line at


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