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Orders of the Day — Human Fertilisation and Embryology

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 19th December 2000.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 3:41 pm, 19th December 2000

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to make a couple of other points first, I will turn to exactly that point.

Many researchers and scientists agree with the hon. Gentleman's point that the eventual aim is to use adult cells. Perhaps that will mean adult stem cells, perhaps ordinary adult cells in which the clock can be turned back to make them stem cells again. However, we are not there yet. Many people believe that we will never get there until and unless embryonic stem cell research is carried out first. Those embryonic stem cells, with their power and potency, could teach scientists how cells grow and develop, and how to use adult cells as well. Until we make those breakthroughs—either from embryonic stem cells or from adult stem cells—the case for embryonic stem cell research is extremely strong.