Stem Cell - Archive

Scientists to Lobby UN for Unethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research (5/04)

Scientists to Lobby UN for Unethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Although it has yet to cure a single patient and clinical trials have shown it has produced convulsions in patients who have received treatment from it, leading scientists will gather at the United Nations this week to lobby for embryonic stem cell research.

While they favor prohibiting human cloning for reproductive
purposes, they want the international body to fund researchers’
efforts to clone human embryos and extract embryonic stem cells
from the days-old unborn children. The process kills the
developing human beings.

Professor Ian Wilmut, of England’s Roslin Institute, will be one
of the speakers at an event to lobby for the destructive
research.

Wilmut is credited with creating Dolly the Sheep, the first
cloned mammal. Dolly was finally created after 300 failed
attempts, resulting in miscarriages and malformed offspring.
Ultimately, the “successful” result, Dolly, aged too rapidly and
had to be euthanized.

Other speakers will include Dr. Woo Suk Hwang, the Korean
scientist who has been involved in human cloning efforts in the
Asian country. Former Superman actor Christopher Reeve, a leading
promoting of the unsuccessful research, will provide a taped
introduction.

Wilmut told the London Telegraph newspaper that embryonic stem
cell research should not be banned because it offers so much
medical potential.

But the destructive research draws opposition from pro-life
organizations, the Bush administration and many other pro-life
countries.

They say adult stem cell research has already cured many or
reduced the effects of debilitating diseases. Adult stem cells
come from noncontroversial sources such as umbilical cord blood,
bone marrow, fatty tissue, and the enamel of teeth.

The Bush administration, last year, had signed on to a complete
human cloning ban put forward by Costa Rica and 60 other nations
that would ban both human cloning for reproduction as well as
research purposes.

However, a smaller group of nations led by Belgium and other
European countries preferred a ban on only reproductive cloning.

The tension prompted a bloc of more than 50 Islamic nations, led
by Iran, to propose delaying the vote for two years so the issue
could be studied further. Advocates of the partial ban joined
forces with them while the Bush administration lobbied heavily in
an attempt to defeat it.

The U.N. General Assembly vote was close with 80 countries voting
favor of the delay, 79 voting against it and 15 abstaining.

The Bush administration and its anti-cloning allies were able to persuade other countries to reduce the delay
to one year. This means the proposal will be taken up by the U.N.
next September when it begins its next session.

Wilmut and the other scientists hope that the U.N. will vote in
favor of the Belgian-led proposal to ban reproductive human
cloning but allow human cloning for research.

The U.S.-Costa Rica total human cloning ban has the support of
dozens of other nations including many Latin American, African
and Islamic nations as well as some European countries
such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. [Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, May 31, 2004, sent 1June04,http://www.lifenews.com/bio321.html]