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Senators call for informed and measured debate on cloning.

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Monday 19 December, 2005

Liberal Senators Guy Barnett and Santo Santoro today called for a measured response to the complex issues of the stem cell debate - rather than a knee-jerk reaction to a scheduled legislative review.

“The Lockhart Review that was released today raises a number of critical questions and issues, and in my view presents some challenging logic in the justification for so-called therapeutic cloning,” said Senator Santoro.

“That said, it is a further contribution to the ongoing debate and should be considered as such rather than a black and white solution,” he said.

Senators Barnett and Santoro recently distributed a factual information briefing note on stem cell research to Federal and State Parliamentarians, and also arranged for leading scientist Professor Jack Martin to conduct a briefing for interested Parliamentarians.

Senator Barnett and Senator Santoro reaffirmed their opposition to cloning of any sort, including so-called therapeutic cloning.

“The Review makes a contribution to the scientific aspects of the discussion and when considered along with ethical issues, significantly helps with an informed and ongoing debate,” Senator Guy Barnett said.

“We see our role as helping to educate and inform that debate in order to reach a well-considered conclusion,” he said.

Media Contacts: Karl Eaves 0438 190 879 or Barry Prismall 0438 384 520