Monday, July 24, 2006

Well done, council

The council has reached a decision, and there will be no restrictions for stem cell research in FP7. In the end, the decision was reached after a vote. Luckily this issue is decided with a qualified majority, as some countries supported the restricting clause until the end. Italy and Germany withdrew their support to the restrictions after they were assured that research will be conducted under strict ethical guidelines and supervision.

The sums that will be used in stem cell research are ridiculously small, though. Only 8 million euros (only a fraction of the amount allocated to medical research) is allocated to this field in the programme, and so the FP7 funding will not have much effect to the power balance on the field - the decision still might, as it is an indicator that Europe is committed to furthering science, and while it is very strict in making sure the research protocols meet ethical guidelines among other quality criteria, it is not imposing impossible restrictions based on narrow-minded moral judgements.

No comments: