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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6195


Senator HARRADINE (11:47 AM) —I do not know where we were going to there. This amendment is to prevent the exportation or the importation—and particularly the exportation—of human embryo stem cells. The reason the money came into it was that the NHMRC agreed in the meeting of the community affairs committee that there is no regulation governing what might happen to human embryo stem cells derived from Australian human embryos—none. That is what this debate is about. If you do not vote for my amendment, you will be allowing the stem cells to be sold to the highest bidder. That is what I am talking about. You will have absolutely no control over what experimentation is going to take place utilising those human embryonic stem cells. That gets very far away from what I understand was the COAG situation. I would like to ask—and I think I am wasting my time— whether or not this issue of the import and export of human embryonic stem cells is going to be part of the consideration given by the Prime Minister in respect of his undertaking to the Senate. I ask that the minister take that on board and raise that issue at the same time as she raises the issue she has mentioned, about the preparation of amendments to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations and Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations being considered. I am asking that at least that be done.