02/01/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Seoul set to ban human egg donations

After the scandal sparked by the fake research of the cloning “pioneer”, the National Bioethics Committee is drawing up a law that bans the donation of eggs for scientific research. There are still doubts about the donation of “surplus” eggs.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The South Korean government is all set to ban human egg donations, seemingly in a bid to obliterate the global scandal caused by the (fake) embryonic stem cell research of Prof. Hwang Woo-suk.

The National Bioethics Committee will convene on 6 February to work out a draft banning women from donating their eggs for scientific research. This was confirmed by the commission chief, Prof. Cho Han-ik, who said: “We will seek to finalise the draft in our first meeting. A majority of committee members are against the donation of human eggs for scientific purposes and wants to submit a draft law about this to the government as soon as possible.

It is unclear whether women will be allowed to donate “surplus” eggs for research, which are usually extracted for artificial insemination. For this, Cho said “The committee needs more time. In any case, the committee will submit a decision to the government that will draw up a law based on it.”

Currently, in South Korea, women can donate their eggs for research but trading of the eggs is prohibited. The planned change that should come about with a new law is most likely due to the experiments of the “pioneer” of human cloning, Hwang Woo-suk, who admitted that he had stimulated the uterus of donors to obtain more eggs that were later bought.

Some of these “volunteers” were severely harmed by the stimulation and they subsequently accused the researcher of not having informed them about the risks inherent in the operation.

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