Brussels, 14 January 2002
An international round table discussion on therapeutic cloning and embryo research will take place on 2 February in Paris, France, as across the Channel the UK House of Lords gears up to debate regulations on the protection of human genetic information on 15 January.
The Paris event, organised by the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, will examine the ethical and research implications of a new draft law intended to revise French law on bioethics. France's current laws in this area were adopted in 1994, before the discovery of human embryonic and adult stem cells. New regulations are required to take account of the ethical and legal decisions required for research and experimentation on these cells.
The debate will examine questions such as whether embryos should be created for research purposes and whether the human embryo should be granted a specific status. The discussion will also look at differences in national legislation and regulations governing stem cell research around the world and consider the economic and research implications of these divergent approaches.
Guest speakers will include Christiane Bardoux, secretary of the Commission's European group on ethics in science and new technologies (EGE) and Carlos de Sola, secretary of the Council of Europe's steering committee on bioethics. Experts will also present the current position on embryo and stem cell research in the UK, Germany, Italy and the USA.
On 15 January, the UK House of Lords will debate a recent report from the country's science and technology committee on 'Human genetic databases: challenges and opportunities.' The report was drawn up to assist the Human Genetics Commission and the British government as they consider future regulatory arrangements for the storage, protection and use of personal genetic information. The select committee's report called for changes in regulation and for further investment to maximise the potential benefits of human genetic research.
For further information on the international round table discussion and to register, please contact:
To view the 'Human genetic databases: challenges and opportunities' report, go to: