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SPUC condemns Lords' cloning report as whitewash

26 February 2002

SPUC condemns Lords' cloning report as "whitewash" Westminster, 26 February 2002--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned the House of Lords select committee report on human cloning as "whitewash". Anthony Ozimic of SPUC said: "We understand that the report is wholly favourable towards the creation of human clones for research. "This report will have no credibility, as the committee's membership was stacked with supporters of human cloning, many with close links to bodies with a vested interest in embryo research. Only two out of 11 members had voted against the government's cloning regulations in January 2001. "The committee's chairman, the Bishop of Oxford, has long been an advocate of human cloning. His controversial religious views on the embryo have been used as a veneer to cloak the committee's bias in favour of destructive embryo research. "Only pro-cloning scientists were explicitly invited by the committee to give evidence and even the committee's scientific advisor, Professor Christopher Higgins, is also an advocate of human cloning. Furthermore, it seems like the purpose of this committee has been to provide justification for a law which has already been passed. "The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning Britain for its stance on cloning. "Dr David Prentice, an advisor to the US Congress on stem cell research, has said that there is no guarantee that the use of stem cells extracted from clones will solve the problem of rejection in recipients, because cloned embryos created by cell nuclear transfer would inherit some of the genetic make-up of the egg donor in the mitochondria. "Research using stem cells from adults in various parts of the world is showing promise as an alternative to cloned embryo cells." Additional facts on post-natal stem cells: * Researchers in Cambridge have claimed to have developed a way of converting fully developed adult cells into stem cells. * In April 2001, doctors in Canada treated a nine month-old child who had cancer with stem cells extracted from his umbilical cord. * Stem cells derived from adults appear to be more stable.

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