Brussels, 07 Nov 2003
A poll of more than 15,000 Europeans from all 30 current and future Member States has revealed that over half are in favour of allowing human therapeutic cloning in order to fight disease.
The Eos Gallup Europe survey also uncovered evidence of strong opposition to human reproductive cloning, with 93 per cent of respondents saying that the practice should not be allowed.
Of the 30 countries that took part in the poll, Italian participants were the most widely supportive of therapeutic cloning, with 65 per cent saying they were in favour. The demographic groups least opposed to cloning for medical purposes proved to be young people aged between 15 and 24; men; and professionals in medium to high income brackets.
Among the group of future EU Member States, Turkey was the nation least in favour of therapeutic cloning, with only 36 per cent supporting the practice. At the other end of the scale were Estonia and Hungary, with 59 per cent.
Meanwhile, a planned United Nations vote on whether to ban any or all forms of human cloning has been postponed for at least two years, following the adoption by 80 votes to 79 of an Iranian proposal to delay the decision.
One leading international expert on cloning, Dolly the sheep creator Ian Wilmut, called on the media to stop focusing on the issue of human reproductive cloning as the procedure is currently considered impossible to carry out successfully.
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