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Wednesday, 4 December 2002
Page: 7198


Senator HARRIS (6:40 PM) —I will be very brief. In speaking in support of the amendments, I would just like to very quickly run through a list of the countries world wide that not only have prohibited patenting but have even prohibited research. In Austria, stem cell research on human embryos is prohibited. In Belgium, stem cell research on embryos is prohibited. In France, research on embryos is prohibited. In Germany, stem cell research, the use of spare embryos and the production of spare embryos are prohibited. In Hungary, the life of the unborn child must be protected from the time of conception. In Ireland, the right to life of the unborn child is equal to that of the mother; stem cell research on human embryos is banned; and the production of spare embryos is prohibited. In Italy, in 2002, the lower chamber of parliament passed a bill that proposed to ban human cloning, experiments on human embryos and the freezing of embryos. Norway prohibits research on embryos and bans their use for any purpose other than reimplantation into the donor. In Poland, under law introduced on 7 January 1993 and amended in 1996, the life of the unborn child must be protected from its conception. In Switzerland, the constitution prohibits the use of medically assisted reproduction for research purposes and the fertilisation of more ova than are capable of being immediately implanted.

If there is this perceived problem that Australia is out of step with the rest of the world and that the rest of the world will run off and put all the patents in place, I say that there is a list of countries whose position is the same as Australia's. I believe that the inability to patent technology or products from embryos would assist the research world wide. I place on record One Nation's support for Senator Murphy's amendments.

Question negatived.