MEP fears rejection of stem cell funding by Council
Italian MEP Marco Cappato has told CORDIS News of his concerns that proposals to fund human embryonic research under the Sixth Framework programme (FP6) may be blocked by Italy and other dissenting countries. A compromise was proposed by the Danish Presidency to overcome objections to the funding of human embryo research under FP6. The proposal would place a moratorium on such research until 31 December 2003, by which time detailed implementing provisions on the ethical issues involved in such research will have been drawn up. Mr Cappato told CORDIS News that he is primarily upset at the rejection of the original agreement reached between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission. He says that the Danish Presidency had no choice but to propose a compromise when it became clear that some Member States were objecting to the original agreement. Speaking to CORDIS News, Mr Cappato said that the Italian government must 'carry responsibility' for the stalemate which has now arisen. He also fears that with the backing of other countries, Italy may be able to block EU funding of any stem cell research. He said that the original agreement was already a compromise as some MEPs such as himself, had wanted to see the funding of therapeutic cloning under FP6, which was ruled out in this agreement. The issue will be discussed at the Competitiveness Council on 30 September.