Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to impose severe restrictions on the use of stem cells taken from human embryos. The vote, which took place this morning (April 10), also called for an outright ban on cloning for human reproduction.

Although they stopped short of demanding a total ban on the use of embryonic stem cells, MEPs imposed a range of tough restrictions that are expected to make it very difficult for scientists to justify their use.

But the decision must be approved by the 15 member states of the European Union before it can become law. It has already been criticised by the British Labour Party's environment spokesman in the European Parliament, David Bowe, who said he was "annoyed" at the move. "There is no moral consensus in Europe on this and it really should be left to individual member states to decide," Bowe told...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?