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Edward Leigh MP says that there is a better, ethically uncomplicated way of tackling disease: "Adult stem cell research has been much more successful than embryonic stem cell research: "Particularly in the public mind, the debate has been clouded by the sense that there are diseases out there waiting to be cured. Enormous advances have been made on stem cells—there have been 70 successful treatments with adult stem cells—but for the past 10 years, we have been told that useful developments on embryonic stem cells are just around the corner. I sat through most of the Second Reading debate, when the fact that 70 successful treatments have arisen from adult stem-cell research was mentioned several times. The hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) has mentioned the prospect—we have heard this again and again—of two early clinical trials in the United States. We have heard that for many years, but nothing has happened… I leave the last word to Professor Yamanaka, who was quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Boston and Skegness (Mark Simmonds) in the debate on Second Reading? The professor has turned away from embryonic stem-cell research and is a leader in adult stem-cell research. He turned away because of what he saw through the microscope 10 years ago:

“When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realised there was such a small difference between it and my daughters.”

This measure is a step too far, and we should oppose it."

Bill Cash MP: "It seems quite clear that we ought to have a provision in the Bill, one way or another, that excludes embryonic cell research when adult stem-cell research has been proved viable. If adult stem-cell research becomes viable, it should then be the only kind of research available."

David Burrowes MP:
"In this country more than 80 therapeutic treatments have been made possible by adult stem-cell research, and there have been more than 350 clinical trials. We should concentrate on and invest in efficacy and the development of valuable research in this country and overseas, rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted from the results that are being produced."

Edward Leigh’s amendment was defeated by 336 votes to 176.  More in Hansard.

8 comments for: Edward Leigh fails to persuade MPs that adult stem cell research should be preferred to embryonic research

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