03/24/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Seoul, permission to conduct research on human embryos is granted

The National Bioethics Committee gave the ok for re-launching the experimentation of human embryos with 12 votes in favor and 8 against. The purchasing of eggs is prohibited.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agenzie) – The South Korean government has granted permission to conduct research on cloned human embryos. The new law will go into effect next year, even though they had banned the experiments for two years after the scandal that provoked false research by the “pioneer of cloning,” Hwang Woo-suk.
 
The National Bioethics Committeedecided yesterday to add to the new law on ethics research, the use and the study of cloned stem cell research. The Commission voted 12 in favor, out of 20 members.
 
In any case, experiments with fresh human eggs will be prohibited because egg donation for research projects is set to be banned. Only eggs left over after operations for test-tube babies will be available.
 
According to the text, the Ministry of Health and Welfare will have to revise relevant regulations for private clinics and institutions capable of conducting such experiments.
 
Yang Byung-guk, director of a ministry department explains “it is important after the revisions are made to the bill that the studies with cloned embryos be resumed.”
 
Seoul had interrupted every type of experiment on human stem cell research after Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, who declared to have successfully cloned human embryonic stem cells, provoked a scandal.
 
After his experiments were tested, the international scientific community declared them to be false. His reputation was destroyed, as well as country’s, which had seen him as a national hero. Furthermore, during the trial it was discovered that the eggs used for the research had been purchased and not donated.
 
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