Europe Rejects Bid to Ban Human Cloning

BRUSSELS, Belgium, NOV. 29, 2001 ( The European parliament has overwhelmingly rejected a move to ban human cloning in the European Union, BBC reported.

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The 316-37 vote today likely will be welcomed by scientists pursuing research into therapeutic cloning, but a disappointment for those who oppose work on human embryos because of the destruction of life it involves.

Nine European Union states have banned human cloning on a national level, but Britain intends to allow the cloning of embryos for research purposes.

Any European ban would have been symbolic, in that it is up to the individual states to decide their policy, but could have been significant in future funding debates. No country yet says it intends to allow a human baby to be produced by cloning.

The Italian member of the Parliament who moved the failed resolution is now urging new legislation. «There is a shared will not to drop this … it is such an important matter,» Francesco Fiori said.

The debate about therapeutic cloning has intensified after a U.S. company earlier this week published details of a cloned human embryo.

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