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Research into the embryo: what the MPs really voted

Published on 08/27/2013 in Press releases

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

This afternoon, the MPs signed the summer epilogue to change the bioethics law, implemented by left-wing radicals, and supported obstinately by the Research Minister. Due to the reserved votes and the blocking of the voting implemented by the Minister last Thursday, 11 July, with the aim of cutting short any examination of amendments by the opposition, and avoiding at all costs any of them being voted through, today's overall formal vote wasn't much of a cliffhanger. Yet, confronted by the voting instructions of the majority and the reluctance of some of the opposition figureheads, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation deplores that the political representatives did not vote according to their conscience, considering the high stakes of the consequences.

The tangible consequences of the possible adoption of a draft law that allows the destruction of living human beings
a hard blow against human rights.

  • The human embryo is presumed to be something available to research, for destruction as needed. Changing from a principle of interdiction (with exceptions) to one of authorisation (under control) is unique in making the human embryo, a human being, material made available for experiments under the banner of medical easement. We are becoming an "embryocidal" society where one of the underlying principles is the homicide of the human embryo.
  • Researchers are no longer required to prove anything to justify research into the embryo. Some researchers in favour of this research - because not all of them are actually in favour of this legislative change, far from it - feel "stigmatised" by the current system which requires them to justify their research. But isn't that the least we can expect when we are talking about experiments on a live human being? The principle of precaution, always flouted when it concerns matters of ecology for instance, simply fades away here and the red carpet is rolled out to welcome the merchandising of live human beings.
  • The human embryo, referred to as "supernumerary" officially becomes a laboratory reagent. The human embryo is becoming a tool for the pharmaceutical industry, the real beneficiary of the enacting of this draft law. As early as 2011, LEEM supported the following positions during the revision of the bioethics law:
    • Making the approaches required for developing strains and the possible field of investigation in terms of embryo stem cells more flexible
    • Setting up import authorisations for CSE strains without the need for an exception, and an authorisation to carry out core transfers under strict control (in other words, cloning)
    • Having France's voice heard through the bodies concerned (INPI, ...) In order to urge the OEB to reconsider its decision to exclude from patentability products derived from embryo stem cells
  • Non-embryo research – the only research which is both ethical and efficient today - will be sacrificed in the funding plans. While the leading developed countries are granting increasing credits to therapeutic innovation, for instance Japan, France is going to drop behind even more for ideological reasons.

The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation takes note of the fact that if it is not for obvious reasons of ethics, the MPs failed to see the strategic stakes playing out in front of them in terms of research into stem cells. They chose to isolate France in its blindness, and the maintained fantasy around the claimed perspective of research (as for the last 20 years) is that of using the human embryo instead of bravely and efficiently betting on its alternatives. The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation supports in France the European citizen-minded initiative "One of us", soon representing 1 million signatures and which, in the autumn, will submit a request to the European Commission to stop European funding of research programmes into the human embryo.

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