Trade in embryos and egg cell donation

March 11, 2005

Strasbourg, 10 Mar 2005

Motions for resolutions - Planned egg cell trade

Doc.: B6-0199/2005, B6-0200/2005, B6-0201/2005, B6-0202/2005, B6-0203/2005, B6-0204/2005, B6-0205/2005

Vote: 10.03.2005

In adopting a resolution on the trade in embryos with 307 votes in favour, 199 against and 25 abstentions, Parliament recalls that the human body should not be a source of financial gain and that particular attention should be paid to vulnerable individuals at risk of becoming victims of trafficking, particularly women.

The House condemns any trafficking in the human body and its parts, and stresses that Article 12(1) of Directive 2004/23/EC requires Member States to endeavour to ensure voluntary and unpaid donations of tissues and cells. Parliament calls on the Commission fully to investigate the above-mentioned reports. MEPs also call on the Member States to take the necessary measures, before 7 April 2006 when Directive 2004/23/EC enters into force, to put in place a transparent and progressive policy with regard to compensation for the expenditure and inconvenience relating to tissue and cell donations.

The House calls on the Commission to carry out an assessment as soon as possible of national legislation on egg cell donation and the compensation system for the donation of organs and reproductive cells, and to make this assessment public. Parliament considers that one of the essential issues in practice is the need to provide infertile couples awaiting an egg donation with a real solution, and calls on the Commission to intensify and strengthen alternatives for the prevention and treatment of infertility. The House wishes to see egg cell donation, like organ donation as a whole, strictly regulated in order to protect both donors and recipients and to tackle all forms of human exploitation. MEPs stress that any woman forced to sell part of her body, including reproductive cells, becomes prey to organised crime networks that traffic in people and organs. Parliament also calls on the Commission to ascertain whether such cases also occur in other Member States, candidate countries or third countries. MEPs call on the Member States to take measures to prevent the exploitation of women in the application of life science.

MEPs welcome the decision of the Sixth Committee of the United Nations of 18 February 2005, and ask the Commission accordingly to exclude human cloning from funding under the 7th Research Framework Programme. Finally, Parliament asks the Commission to apply the subsidiarity principle in connection with other forms of embryo research and embryonic stem cell research so that Member States in which this kind of research is legal fund it from their national budgets. The House considers that EU funding should concentrate on alternatives like somatic stem cell and umbilical cord stem cell research, which are accepted in all Member States and have already led to successful treatment of patients.

Press enquiries: Cezary Lewanowicz (Strasbourg) tel.(33-3) 881 74903 (Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 44659 e-mail :

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