Newly installed European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik believes that scientists in European nations should be allowed to use surplus human embryos to create stem cells for research purposes, according to a German newspaper article.

Potocnik told the daily Rheinischer Merkur that his office "must be more preoccupied" with making it easier for scientists to use stem cells from surplus embryos resulting from infertility treatments. "At the very least, new EU guidelines setting minimum standards for dealing with surplus embryos should be brought into play," he told the newspaper.

Potocnik was unable to speak to The Scientist by deadline for this article. However, a spokeswoman did confirm that the commissioner had approved the quotes used by the newspaper.

The commissioner's stance on embryo research contrasts starkly with the position of current German legislation, which bans the use of surplus human embryos for production of stem cells.

Germany allows...

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