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Embryo bill fails

A QUEENSLAND bioethicist has welcomed the splitting of a federal bill on cloning and embryo stem cell research.

On August 29, the House of Representatives voted 89-43 to split the Research Involving Human Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill to allow separate votes on human cloning and on embryo stem cell research.

The house went on to unanimously pass a ban on human cloning. MPs have been given a conscience vote by political parties on the stem cell and cloning issue.

Mr Campbell, who is director of the Church’s Queensland Bioethics Centre, said a vote against the bill, as it was before, would have rejected regulations against cloning along with embryo stem cell research.

Splitting the bill will allow politicians to better express what they want,’ he said. ‘It’s a victory for commonsense.’

Meanwhile, Queensland Senator Ron Boswell, who is leader of the National Party in the Senate, raised new questions last week about stem cell research proponent Professor Alan Trounson’s promotion of embryo stem cell research and his links with commercial interests.

He raised the issue of Prof Trounson’s crippled rat video, which Prof Trounson had said showed the benefits of embryo stem cells, admitting later it was germ cells that were used.

Written by: Staff writers
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