Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

European concern about cloning

Daily Telegraph - 16th December 2000

Sir

As Members of the European Parliament, we are alarmed by the British Government's plan to amend the law to permit human cloning.

The European Parliament has frequently expressed its clear opposition to the creation of human embryos through cloning, making no distinction between "therapeutic" or "reproductive" purposes.

Other institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Group of Advisers on Ethics in Science and New Technologies of the European Commission, regard this initiative with considerable concern.

Even many of those who are not against all embryo research see the creation of human embryos solely for research purposes - especially the creation of embryos through the method that created Dolly the sheep - as morally unacceptable.

Many of us are doctors, scientists and former ministers. We all believe that we need new treatments for patients suffering from such conditions as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, but we think the Government is wrong.

There are equally promising scientific alternatives that are ethically acceptable, such as adult stem cell research.

We strongly urge MPs to vote against the Government's proposals.

John Bowis
Marie-Noelle Lienemann
Paul Lannoye
Mihail Papayannakis
Johannes Blokland
Jacques Santer
Dana Rosemary Scallon
Gerhard Schmid
Dr Peter Liese
Charles Tannock
Jose Maria Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado
Avril Doyle
Jonathan Evans
Hiltrud Breyer
Prof Jorge Moreira Da Silva
Maria Martens
Jean Lambert
Luisa Morgantini
Ioannis Theonas
Nuala Ahern
and 28 other MEPs from 14 of the 15 countries represented in the European Parliament Strasbourg.