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European bishops' conference protests bid to curb animal testing by using human embryos

June 07, 2010

A European bishops' group is cautioning against a directive that would call for protection of animals used in laboratory tests in the European Union, but might encourage the use of tissues harvested from human embryos.

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) noted that the proposed directive says that living animals should not be used for tests if any alternative is available. The text of the directive does not exclude the use of tests on tissues from human embryos.

The net result of such a policy, COMECE points out, could be to protect animals by sacrificing human embryos.

COMECE welcomed the move to protect animals, but urged the European Union to add language that would "explicitly exclude from the alternative testing methods any which involve the use of human embryonic and fetal cells."


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  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Jun. 07, 2010 7:20 PM ET USA

    Has anyone pointed out that a human embryo is indeed a living being, at the very least an animal--that is animate rather than inanimate--and thus worthy of the same protections, at the very least? I presume the thinking is that the embryo is too immature to feel fear or pain and as a human will give the most valid test results. But, that isn't necessarily so, because of that very immaturity. And, of course, any human being must be considered more valuable than any animal.