The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies
advisory group to the European Commission, has issued a report
that allowing embryo cloning for stem cell research would be
The November report, "Ethical Aspects of Human Stem Cell
Use," acknowledges that embryo cloning (also known as "non-reproductive"
cloning) may turn out to be the most effective way to derive
for use in creating compatible tissue transplants.
"But," it cautions, "these remote therapeutic
perspectives must be
balanced against considerations related to the risks of trivialising
the use of embryos and exerting pressure on women as sources
that would be needed for embryo cloning. The report points out
"there is a wide field of research to be carried out with
sources of human stem cells: from spare embryos, foetal tissues
adult stem cells." The report is available at
Embryo cloning is the subject of public and parliamentary debate
UK, where the government has announced plans to relax its regulations
using human embryo cells for research. A briefing paper on the
and politics of non-reproductive cloning by the Campaign Against
Genetic Engineering (CAHGE) states that "Britain is taking
national lead in developing [embryo cloning] technology,"
that prompted the European Parliament to pass a motion in September
"censuring the British government for pressing ahead so
The CAHGE briefing paper clearly discusses the technical and
between non-reproductive and reproductive human cloning, and
moratorium on the former "until there is a global ban on
and until there has been a chance for a better informed public
It also explains why a moratorium "would not harm progress
treatments for disease." See <www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~cahge>.