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Greens move to protect public interest on stem cells.

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11 November 2002

Greens Move to Protect Public Interest On Stem Cells Greens Senators Kerry Nettle and Bob Brown will move a series of ‘public interest’ amendments to the stem cells legislation being debated in the Senate this week.

“Our concern all along has been the potential for big business to effectively control stem cell discoveries without adequate safeguards to protect the public interest,” Senator Nettle said.

“The Greens will move for a Public National Stem Cells Bank. The bank is to be an independent institution, and will be used to deposit human stem cell lines from licensed bodies, and to make these stem cell lines available to accredited researchers for approved research involving human tissue.

“This is the approach being undertaken in the United Kingdom and the Senate committee here recommended that the approach be investigated as part of the review in two years’ time,” Senator Nettle said.

“The Greens believe we need the Public National Stem Cells Bank now. Stem cell lines should not be owned by corporations,” Senator Brown said.

“Such a bank would not prevent the commercial patenting of applications from stem cells lines, it would merely ensure stem cell line discoveries are kept in public hands,” Senator Brown said

Greens amendments include: · creation of a national stem cell bank; · guaranteed public input into the review of the legislation; · licensed stem cell researchers must disclose all commercial interests related to the activities for which the licence is sought; · licence applicants who receive government funding must reveal details of those funding arrangements; · ensuring that the restrictions on the use of post 5 April 2002 embryo stem cells remain in place until parliament has reviewed the legislation.

Further information: Ben Oquist 02 62773170 or 0419704095

Category: Senate Office

Author: Ben Oquist

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