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Defending life from the moment of conception

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UK insisting on embryo research funding by EU

27 May 2002

UK insisting on embryo research funding by EU Westminster, 27 May 2002--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has strongly criticised the UK government for holding up agreement on the European Union's research budget by pushing its own agenda for human embryo research. Dominic Baster, SPUC's international secretary, said: "The European Union's sixth framework programme, which stipulates how EU money will be spent on research over the next four years, is crucial to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of international medical research. However, despite Tony Blair's assurances last week that 'better moral judgement goes hand in hand with better science', the UK is refusing to back down on its insistence that destructive research on human embryos should be in the EU budget. This is despite the fact that such research is illegal in a number of EU member states--including in Ireland, where it is prohibited by the constitution. "Germany, Italy and Austria have recommended that destructive embryo research should be excluded from the EU budget, and a number of other countries are ready to support them. Only the UK and some Scandinavian countries are now standing in the way of agreement. By pushing its own radical, anti-life agenda in Europe, Tony Blair's government is blocking consensus and treating with disdain those countries whose laws protect embryos from destructive research. "When EU government representatives meet again to discuss the sixth framework programme on Wednesday, we urge Mr Blair to bow to the moral sensitivity of other countries and instruct the British representatives to accept an EU budget which advances medical research in Europe on a more broadly acceptable basis."

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