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Wednesday, 4 December 2002
Page: 7180

Senator BOSWELL (Leader of the National Party of Australia in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services) (4:51 PM) —I thank Senator Ian Campbell. He conceded that it was possible to clone if you put any sort of isolated nucleus from an embryonic stem cell or any stem cell into an egg. I think that is what he said. This is a well-thought out amendment. I have said `trade' and trade means commerce, and it means trading. It does not mean exchanges in science; it means getting a commission, a remuneration or a consideration for what you have done. This is why I changed it. It means that someone must make money. Someone must get a commission or a remuneration out of it. I very clearly said it is only human embryos, human embryonic stem cells or any product derived from human embryos. It is nothing to do with blood or any other human tissue that may have to be exchanged. That should put down the fears of Senator Ian Campbell. AHEC, which is the ethical committee of the NHMRC, were so concerned about these papers that they put a report in to the minister at the time. That shows that it can be done and they were concerned. They are part of the NHMRC and they were so concerned that they reported these papers to the minister at the time.

We only have five minutes and I do not know whether anyone else wants to speak. I refute what you have said, Senator Ian Campbell. I know you said it with goodwill but in effect you conceded my point. You conceded it could happen although you said it was remote. You conceded that it happens in animals. To our knowledge, there has never been a human clone in the world so you cannot say, `It has not been done with people,' because cloning has never been done with people. Cloning has been done from stem cells with monkeys and mice. The next step could be human cloning but no-one has ever done that. It is illegal around the world except in Singapore. The two partners of the stem cell centre are setting up in Singapore, where cloning is legal.