Thursday, March 19, 2009

EU to Favour Embryo Experiments Over Animal

Simon Caldwell at the UK Catholic Herald reports today, excerpts:
The European Union is to radically restrict laboratory testing on animals - by insisting human embryos are used by scientists for research instead.

Toxicology tests on animals will be permitted only after similar research on tissue taken from human embryos has proved fruitless, according to a proposed new directive from the European Commission (EC). . .

. . ."This would constitute a blatant break from the current stance of the European institutions, which thus far have always tried to respect member states' rights to determine in each country whether research using human embryonic stem cells is allowed or not," she said, adding that the EC aimed to push the directive through with minimal debate.

"The problem is that the destruction of human embryos, which currently are the unavoidable source for the production of human embryonic stem cells, is considered a lesser evil than animal testing practices," Miss Schauer said.

And all for what, some in England are asking (emphases added):
"Although I am not an advocate of research using animals I have to disagree with the use of human embryos in any kind of scientific research," said Mr Dobbin, Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton. "Surely respect for human life should pre-empt this European directive, especially as there have been no advances using embryonic stem-cell research."

Britain has been at the forefront of embryonic stem-cell research in the hope that such experimentation might lead to cures for such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. However, not a single therapy has yet been derived from such research while 80 cures have resulted from research on adult stem cells, with 350 clinical trials under way.