European Union health ministers reached an agreement
on a proposed directive setting quality and safety standards
for the donation, procurement, testing, storage and distribution
of human tissues and cells. The health ministers rejected amendments
proposed by the European Parliament that would have prohibited
the creation of human embryos solely for research purposes or
to supply stem cells. It was agreed that the directive only
applied to human tissues used in clinical trials, and did not
apply to research activities.
Landmark legislation that would establish
a comprehensive framework for assisted reproductive technology
is still pending in the Canadian Parliament as
it approaches the end of its session on June 27. It is unclear
whether a vote will take place. the landmark legislation will
see a vote this session.
Bill Summary and Text: http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/Bills_ls.asp?lang=E&Parl=37&Ses=2&ls=C13
The Louisiana House passed a bill (HB 1810) that would
ban both reproductive and research cloning. Louisiana currently
has a law banning reproductive cloning which is set to expire
on July 1of this year. The state Senate recently passed legislation
that would extend the current ban for an additional three years.
Legislation was introduced
in the Wisconsin state Assembly (AB 104) and Senate (SB
45) that would ban cloning for both research and reproductive
purposes. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and private biotech
companies currently conduct embryonic stem cell research, and
fear that research funding would be lost to other states if
the total cloning ban becomes law. According to the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, Governor Jim Doyle (D) has promised to
veto the legislation.
Assembly Bill: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/AB-104.pdf
Senate Bill: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/SB-45.pdf
The Delaware state Senate
passed a bill (SB 55) banning reproductive cloning. The bill
would allow cloning for research purposes. Scientists who violate
the law would face fines of up to $250,000.
Senate Bill: http://www.legis.state.de.us/Legislature.nsf/
With only seven days left of
the legislative session, the Nebraska Legislature decided
last month to table a bill (LB 602) that would prohibit the
production of cloned embryos for research or reproductive purposes.
The Legislature will likely take up the measure next session.