ITALY – Government bans embryonic and ‘reprogrammed’ stem cell research

(Stem Cells News image)

Image by Associazione Luca Coscioni via Flickr

A new stem cell ban advanced by the government and under discussion in the conference between the State and Regional governments, would contain the explicit exclusion of projects that study human embryonic stem cells, reports the Luca Coscioni Association.

“A ban such as this,” underlined the association in a note, “has no scientific foundation and is in contrast with the orientation of all of the leading countries in scientific research, now also including the USA. In the original version of the ban, prepared by a group of scientists instituted by the Berlusconi government did not mention the types of stem cell that could be studied and simply suggested to finance quality scientific projects and to not finance those that are simply not valid.”

The association pointed out “that law 40 on assisted fertilization, if it is true that it introduced the absurd ban on the use of embryos destined to rot in refrigerators for scientific research, does not prohibit research on cellular lines that have already been extracted before law 49 or that have been extracted abroad”.

“The Berlusconi government,” underlined Marco Cappato, secretary of the Luca Coscioni Association, “after having cancelled and manipulated every scientific reality regarding the Englaro case in the name of alleged rights for people with disabilities, now launches a new attack on scientific research, preparing to deny financing for the most promising research against serious, mortal, and debilitating illnesses.

I hope that the regional governments make their voices heard.” Like radicals and the Luca Coscioni Association, concluded Cappato, “our response, in addition to promoting and supporting all legal appeals if the ban is not modified, will be launched at a global level with the second meeting of the world congress for freedom in scientific research, which will be held from March 5 to 7 at European Parliament in Brussels.”

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