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House of Lords Hansard
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Therapeutic Cloning
15 January 2001
Volume 620
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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will set up a House of Lords Select Committee to inquire into the issue of therapeutic cloning to enable conflicting claims about the respective benefits of the use of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells to be fully considered. [HL258]

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These issues were fully considered by the Chief Medical Officer's Expert Advisory Group set up in June 1999 and discussed in its Report: Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility. Since publication of the report in August 2000 members of the expert group have continued to review the research on this issue. They confirm that, while other sources of stem cells are demonstrating possibilities, research using human embryos remains essential to reap the full benefits in terms of treating serious diseases.

This is a view supported by many scientific bodies and individuals at the forefront of research involving both adult and embryonic stem cells. What is important is that research into both adult and human embryonic stem cells is able to take place.

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Following their decision to permit procedures which could lead to therapeutic cloning, what action they will take if this is contrary to European Union law. [HL259]

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On 13 December the European Parliament voted to set up a temporary committee on human genetics and other new technologies in modern medicine and the United Kingdom will be fully involved in the committee's deliberations. However, the European Commission has already stated that there are no plans for harmonisation or Community legislation in this area.