United Nations, Nov. 7 (Reuters): A UN tradition of seeking broad international consensus in the drafting of treaties has set back a Bush administration campaign for a global ban on medical research on stem cells.
Washington, with backing from the US anti-abortion movement, tried to push a resolution through a UN committee yesterday for the drafting of a treaty that would ban both the cloning of human beings and so-called “therapeutic” cloning, in which human cells are cloned for medical research.
Cloning research relies on embryo cells, or stem cells, because they can grow into all cells and tissues in the body.
While there is virtually universal support at the UN for a treaty banning human cloning, the international community is deeply divided over therapeutic cloning.
Scientists see it as a promising avenue in the battle against disease while anti-abortion activists and many Catholics see it as the taking of human lives.
Nigerian envoy Felix Awanbor said his country hoped for a ban on stem cell studies for fear African women were “most likely to be at risk as easy targets to source the billions of embryos required for scientific experimentation on this issue.”