EU compromise on funding for embryonic stem-cell research

.- The European Union has decided that its six-year, $65-billion budget for scientific research and development will not directly fund embryonic stem-cell research.

Rather, EU science funds would be distributed to member nations, which would then decide if they wanted to fund embryonic stem-cell research in their own countries, reported

The compromise also says funding would only support research on existing embryonic stem cells or research conducted after the destruction of human life has taken place.

A coalition of nations, led by Germany, had been working to block funding for embryonic stem-cell research. However, Finland, which holds the EU presidency this year, proposed the compromise.

"We believe [this is] a constructive compromise. It takes into account the legal situation in every member state," said Slovenian minister Dusan Lesjak, according to the London Guardian.

Poland, Austria, Malta, Slovakia and Lithuania voted against the compromise, but Germany, Slovenia and Italy supported it. Britain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Sweden supported the initial proposal of supporting embryonic stem-cell research with EU tax dollars.

Funding for stem cell research is a small part of the EU science budget, which does not fund human cloning or the genetic modification of humans, reported


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