The statement Tuesday in Sweden, which has about a third of the world´s known stem cell lines, came a week after scientists in the United States announced the first cloning of a human embryo for medical purposes.
The Swedish Research Council added that therapeutic cloning, in which the nucleus of an egg cell is replaced with DNA from another cell to create an embryo, must be governed and monitored by a national authority.
Researchers hope therapeutic cloning will help them create transplant tissue or even whole organs. The council said use of embryos in research was permissible if there were no other ways of attaining “equivalent results.´´
Any stem cell research project would require the consent of the man and woman whose egg cells and sperm would be used. The council also said embryos should not be created purely for research and there should be a law prohibiting implanting such embryos in a womb.
The council´s announcement was made the same day a law was passed in Britain barring scientists there from using cloning techniques to produce babies. But scientists will be allowed to use cloning to create embryos for stem cell research.
John Paul II warned Nov. 28 that human cloning experiments are a scientifically programmed threat against human life.