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Schultz reinforces opposition to human cloning.

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Schultz reinforces opposition to human cloning Tuesday, 18 August 2006

Member for Hume Alby Schultz has reinforced his opposition to therapeutic cloning during party room discussions on the topic this week.

Mr Schultz said scientists claimed they wanted to clone human embryos in the search for cures for diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and Parkinsons Disease, however safe and effective treatments for many conditions had already been achieved through the use of adult stem cells.

He said he was concerned that scientists around the world were trying to con the public by changing the terms used to describe their work. Already the name therapeutic cloning has been changed to somantic cell nuclear transfer - which describes the procedure in which an adult cell nucleus is transplanted into an egg to produce embryonic stem cells.

“Recommendation 23 of the Lockhart review, tabled on 19 December 2005, stated that human somatic cell nuclear transfer should be permitted, under licence, to create and use human embryo clones for research, training and clinical application, including the production of human embryonic stem cells,” Mr Schultz said.

“But somatic cell nuclear transfer is just another deceptive message designed to cover up the cloning process. You cannot get away from the fact that the nucleus of a cell from one animal is placed in the ovum of another for the sole purpose of creating a new embryo.”

Mr Schultz said the Lockhart committee also endorsed the creation of part human, part animal embryos.

The Lockhart recommendations, if acted upon, would reverse Australian laws - passed unanimously by all Australian governments in 2002 - to prohibit all attempts at human cloning.

He said the thought of Australia changing the laws in this area was of grave concern and he would not be supporting any private members’ bill on the subject.