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Monday, 17 November 2003 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Integrating and strengthening the European research area (2002-2006)

  Montfort (PPE-DE ), in writing. (FR) No scientific evaluation justifies research on embryonic stem cells and researchers have said that using these cells for therapeutic purposes has proved unsuccessful. Nevertheless, alternative methods, such as adult stem cells, offer very promising results. Two comments must be made on the argument, which enables this fundamental research on embryonic cells to include adult stem cells. First and foremost, existing cell lines are sufficient and this is the proposal by Mr Liese. Then, it ignores the fact that the purpose of adult stem cells is to repair tissue on the patients themselves, whilst the purpose of embryonic stem cells is to follow the development of the human being from conception onwards.

The Commission proposal is ambiguous and inappropriate since scientists do not promise any results for 10 to 15 years and this research does not match the urgency of the needs of patients who are suffering while they wait for a treatment to be found. We need to prioritise funding for research into adult stem cells, the only alternative method which does not raise ethical issues and which is a technique that has been approved by all Members. I will not support the Commission proposal amended by the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and I will vote in favour of the Gargani amendment, to which I also added my name.

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