'Spare' embryo research approval

Tuesday, 25 September, 2001

Embryonic stem cell research that might deliver cures for devastating diseases, but involves the destruction of human embryos, has been given a green light by a key parliamentary committee.

The ten member committee voted six to four in favour of allowing scientists to use 'spare' IVF embryos to create new stem cell lines. The committee unanimously supported a ban on reproductive cloning, recommending that any attempt to clone a complete human being be punishable by criminal penalties. The committee also unanimously rejected the creation of embryos for research. However, the committee has recommended a three-year moratorium on therapeutic cloning. The committee's report is advisory only but it is expected to be heavily relied on by federal, state and territory governments who must now decide what to do.

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