The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the trade in human egg cells, calling on Member States to take steps to avoid the exploitation of women in the application of the life sciences. The motion was passed with 307 votes in favour, albeit with 199 MEPs opposing the resolution and 25 abstaining. The resolution calls for egg cell donation - like organ donation as a whole - to be strictly regulated 'in order to protect both donors and recipients and to tackle all forms of human exploitation.' The Parliament's position was outlined in response to apparent plans by the UK and Romania to trade egg cells between clinics in their two countries. MEPs called on the British government to abandon any such plans. As part of the resolution, MEPs welcomed the controversial UN declaration of 18 February calling on countries to ban all forms of human cloning - both reproductive and therapeutic. Accordingly, the Parliament 'asks the Commission to exclude human cloning from funding under the Seventh Research Framework Programme', said a statement. Parliament calls on the Commission to apply the subsidiarity principle in connection with other forms of embryo research and embryonic stem cell research, ensuring that Member States in which this kind of research is legal, fund it from their own national budgets. Finally, the statement added: '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.'
Policy making and guidelines
1 April 2005