CONSUMERS with ethical objections to the use of human embryos or embryonic stem cells in the testing of drugs will have the chance to exercise their objections at the cash register if Federal Parliament adopts legislation instigated by Independent Tasmanian Senator Brian Harradine.
The draft Therapeutic Goods Regulations, tabled by the Government on September 16, ensure that consumers will be informed if human embryos, human embryonic stem cells or materials derived from embryos or stem cells are used in the manufacture or testing of pharmaceuticals.
This will allow consumers to make an informed decision on whether they want to use the drugs.
Senator Harradine, a Catholic who has publicly opposed the use of human embryonic stem cells in scientific research, proposed amendments to the Research Involving Embryos Bill last December and to the Therapeutic Goods Act in May to ensure consumers had access to this information.
The Government agreed to consider these amendments and has negotiated with Senator Harradine in developing this draft legislation.
Senator Harradine said the draft legislation was a significant step forward for consumers’ right to know.
‘Consumers who do not have ethical concerns about the use of human embryos or human embryonic stem cells will not be affected by the amendments,’ he said.
‘But the amendments will allow consumers with ethical objections to the use of human embryos or human embryonic stem cells in drugs to choose not to use particular drugs.’