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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6907

Senator HARRADINE (10:38 PM) —I want some further information about that. I do not think that is good enough. The Minister for Health and Ageing says that some person is going to be on a board or a committee that is funded by drug companies. If that board is dealing with issues relating to drug companies, it is quite improper for that person to be a member of such an organisation, committee, licensing board or whatever it is. With this legislation you are proposing to allow access to excess ART embryos. I am not sure that you went as far as to say that that is quite appropriate and proper, but it may well be that it should preclude a person whose organisation is funded substantially by the very industry to which you are going to give access to excess ART embryos. I do not think that is an appropriate circumstance. For a person who has expertise in ART, at least that is up-front and we know what that person's views are. I also raise the question: if this licensing committee is to determine the applications for the use of excess ART embryos—that is to say, where their use is not exempt—how does the person with expertise in ART get a guernsey and why? That is the question to the minister: how does the person described in clause 16(1)(d) as `a person with expertise in assisted reproductive technology' get a guernsey for that? They have already got their human embryos. They can have access to excess ART embryos under the exempt use provisions of this bill.