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Thursday, 14 November 2002
Page: 6342

Senator HARRADINE (10:38 AM) —I did not want to provoke Senator Stott Despoja; I simply wanted her to place on record what her views are. She deliberately used the words `reproductive cloning'. She knows as well as I do that there has been an attempt to make a distinction between so-called therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. I am aware that she understands the difference. I am not trying to misrepresent her. I am simply saying that she only used the words `reproductive cloning'. If you like, all cloning is reproductive cloning, because you are reproducing a clone of a particular individual. Different things can happen with that clone—either it can be transferred and placed into the body of a woman or it can be harvested for stem cells and destroyed. What I would be interested in—and I still have not heard this—is whether that type of so-called reproductive cloning that is stressed by Dr Mountford is the type that she may support.

What worries me about this review is that, at the end of the day, there will be certain scientists who go along and say, `We find that we cannot use this stem cell research on patients because the stem cells are histo-incompatible with the patient.' Those cells will create an immune response in that patient, so they will be looking for so-called histo-compatible stem cells. The obvious stem cells to use there are adult stem cells. But there is this push to develop cloned human embryos using the somatic cell nuclear transfer process—using a somatic cell from a particular patient so that a little clone of the patient is created, or this is the theory. As a result, they will attempt—and I underline that word—certain therapies. This is a very major question. I did not want to misrepresent Senator Stott Despoja, but I just wanted to see precisely why she used the words `reproductive cloning'. I thought we were against all forms of cloning if we were fair dinkum about this bill, because this bill bans all forms of cloning.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Cherry)—The question is that the amendments moved by Senator Harradine be agreed to.