OTTAWA, Mar 5, 2001 ( – Following the announcement of $140 million in funding for Genome Canada, Canadian Alliance Members of Parliament are calling on the Liberal government to introduce legislate to regulate the realm of genetic technology. Last Friday two CA MPs raised the issue, Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead) and James Lunney (Nanaimo-Alberni). “On Wednesday the Minister of Industry threw an additional $140 million into genetic research. Canadians would expect the expenditure of millions of dollars to accompany clear guidelines of accountability measures. We remember HRDC,” said Mr. Merrifield.

Two Parliaments and several years ago, the Liberal government introduced a bill to regulate reproductive and genetic technologies. The legislation wasn’t passed into law before an election was called, however, and it was never reintroduced, despite several promises from the government that it was preparing a new bill. Instead of promising new legislation, Industry Minister Brian Tobin accused the Alliance of opposing all reproductive and genetic technologies: “If the member is suggesting and believes on behalf of the Alliance Party that the rest of the western world and scientific community should not be involved in this exciting new endeavour but that Canada should put its head in the sand and say no to our scientific community, we do not share that kind of vision of Canada’s future.”“We have no problem with the funding going there, but this is purely and clearly an example of cart before the horse mentality. Genomics is a highly complex activity and one that raises pressing ethical issues about animal and human cloning, about reproductive technology, and about using human embryos for research,” responded Mr. Merrifield.

For Mr. Tobin’s announcement of the new $140 million in federal funding for Genome Canada, see!OpenDocument