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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6896

Senator HARRIS (9:24 PM) —I rise to indicate to the chamber that One Nation will support Senator Harradine's amendments relating to it being an offence to trade in human tissue, human eggs, human sperm or human embryos. I would like to share with the chamber something from the Sydney Morning Herald web site. It is very pertinent to what Senator Harradine is talking about. It says:

Of course you have to regulate scientific exploration. Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done. Look at where the `scientific knowledge' took us when it created the nuclear bomb, chemicalbiological weapons etc. How do we know that human cloning isn't going to be used in a similar light. I'm not saying that human cloning is bad ... my point is that no scientist should be left to their own devices, because their discoveries will affect us all, and we all deserve a say in what should be allowed and not allowed.

I also want to quote from an AFP article titled `Cloned human to be born in January', which says:

Controversial Italian gynaecologist Severino Antinori said a woman carrying a cloned human embryo should give birth in early January.

He told journalists the woman's pregnancy was in its 33rd week, and the male foetus, which weighs 2.7 kilograms (six pounds), is healthy and has `more than a 90 percent chance' of being born.

The gynaecologist also confirmed that two other women are pregnant with cloned embryos—one of them in the 28th week and the other in the 27th.

He refused to name the country or countries concerned or provide further details, but said all three women are `in the same geographical zone.'

The article goes on further, but I will conclude it there. This is the reason why we need to very clearly set out what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in the way of scientific experimentation. Senator Harradine's amendments also go to the definition of the human embryo: `human tissue includes a cell, cells or cultured cells that have a human genome or an altered human genome'. It has been indicated that Italy is moving towards legislation that will ban human cloning. Ultimately, scientists are going to be looking for the availability of human sperm, human eggs or already-created human embryos. I believe that Senator Harradine's amendments clarify and totally exclude that possibility from ever emanating from Australia. I will be supporting Senator Harradine's amendments.