LONDON, May 19, 2004 ( – Britain has announced the opening of the world’s first bank for storing embryonic stem cell lines. The bank will store embryonic and fetal stem cells from babies created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and from aborted babies. The bank will also house adult stem cells.  A spokeswoman for the UK group, The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: “A great many inflated, exaggerated promises are being made to render embryonic stem cell research acceptable to the public, but research based on the exploitation and destruction of human life at its earliest stages can never be justified.” A leading stem cell research pioneer, John Gearhart, admitted, regarding embryonic cells: “I am not sure these cells are going to be used in therapies.”“It is a day of shame for Britain that we as a nation are leading the way in an area of science that disregards the most fundamental of human rights, the right to life,” the SPUC spokeswoman said. “SPUC gives wholehearted support to ethical research using adult stem cells which already offers genuine promise to those suffering from debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. Killing embryos has yet to provide any benefit.”

Dr. Peter Hollands, who holds a PhD in Stem Cell Biology from Cambridge University in the UK has spoken out on the controversy over adult and embryonic stem cells. In comments to, Dr. Hollands, who has worked with embryonic stem cells, noted the often overlooked fact that while adult and cord blood stem cells have been widely used for treatments, “embryonic stem cells have yet to be used to treat any form of disease.”  UK’s LIFE spokesman Patrick Cusworth told Reuters news that the use of embryonic tissues for therapeutic purposes makes the baby “little more than a pharmaceutical product.” Yet unproven, scientists who promote embryonic stem cell research raise “false hopes of cures for sufferers of debilitating conditions,” he said. “Using human embryos as a tissue source is unethical, unnecessary and dangerous,” he emphasized. “Science must exist to benefit humanity—not the other way round.”  Read related coverage, “Founding Stem Cell Researcher Admits Embryonic Stem Cells Will Not Be Used For Therapies,” at:   “Money: The Real Motive Behind The Push For Embryonic Stem Cell Research,” at:   “Canadian Stem Cell Expert Speaks Out on Adult vs. Embryo Stem Cell Research,” at:


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