SPUC Criticises Blair's Endorsement of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Pro-life charity the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned Tony Blair's endorsement of embryonic stem cell research in his farewell speech to the Labour party conference.

In his speech at the Labour party conference, currently taking place in Manchester, Mr Blair referred to embryonic stem cell research, which kills embryonic children in order to extract their stem cells.

While the US only goes as far as supporting stem cell research using non-embryo tissue, Mr Blair welcomed the study of embryonic stem cell research.

He said: "America does not want stem cell research, we do; we welcome it here."

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "Not only does embryonic stem cell research kill innocent human beings at their most vulnerable stage of life, but is increasingly redundant in the light of the frequent advances in ethical alternatives such as adult stem cell research.

"Adult stem cell research is already benefiting human patients in over 70 conditions, whereas embryonic stem cell research has delivered no benefits.

"Embryonic stem cell research receives substantial financial backing from Labour party donors such as Sir Christopher Evans, one of those arrested in the cash-for-honours investigation.

"Does the Labour party really want to associate itself even more closely in a field which is increasingly under suspicion?"

A letter to The Times last month warned British consumers against false claims being made by foreign clinics on the benefits of treatments they offer using stem cells, although they failed to properly distinguish between ethical adult stem cells and embryonic cells.

The letter was signed by 14 medical professionals and experts including Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, Lord Patel, of the UK Stem Cell Bank, and the heads of the MS Society, the Parkinson's Disease Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Alzheimer's Society.

It read: "We advise those who are desperate for cures or attracted to cosmetic surgery to be wary of claims being made by clinics offering these treatments."