Hawking critiques EU stem cell decision

Renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking is criticizing a stem cell research funding ruling by the European Union as a "fudge."

Hawking's comments followed a compromise reached by the European Council during its Monday meeting in Brussels, The Guardian reported Tuesday. The council decided the EU will fund research into human embryonic stem cells.

However, the council ruled no EU money may be spent on projects in which human embryos are destroyed.

Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, told educationguardian.co.uk, "I hope this fudge will place no practical limits on stem cell research. As I understand it, as long as the creation of new stem cell lines is paid for from private funds or national budgets, EU money can be spent on research using these lines.

"We throw away many embryos in IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and no one objects," he added. "Isn't it better to use a few embryos to save lives?"

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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