AUSTRIA – Embryonic stem cell research regulations loosened

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Just as Barack Obama has loosened the regulations on embryonic stem cell research in the USA, the Austrian Commission of Bioethics (which advises the government) has decided to implement more liberal regulation. Today in Austria it is prohibited to produce embryonic stem cells, but it is allowed to import them from abroad. These cells are expensive and research is hindered by high costs. The majority of the Commission has advised, with a 17 to 5 vote, that the use of excess embryonic stem cells from assisted fertilization procedures be made legal. If they are not used, after a certain period of time, the embryos are disposed of, and therefore it makes more sense to use them for research. The council rejected a possible production of embryos specifically to be used for research.

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