Bioscience

Arizona lawmakers look to ban human-animal embryos

May 22, 2008

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Mike Sunnucks ,Phoenix Business Journal] – Two Arizona members of the U.S. House of Representatives want to prohibit the creation of human-animal embryos and the use of the hybrid embryonic mix for medical and scientific research.

U.S. Reps. Rick Renzi and Trent Franks back a federal bill barring human-animal hybrids in the U.S. Renzi has already signed onto the measure and Franks will soon, said Franks spokeswoman Bethany Barker.

Human-animal hybrid embryos involve injecting human DNA into animal eggs, such as rabbits or cows. Scientists can then extract stem cells for research related to human diseases and serious maladies.

The U.S. prohibition comes on the heels of the British Parliament giving preliminary approval to the contentious research method.

Both British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative opposition leader David Cameron back the U.K. measure allowing for human-animal embryo hybrids to further medical research.
The British plan requires the man-animal embryos to be destroyed within two weeks. Chinese scientists have also conducted such embryonic research. The practice is banned in some other countries.

The Arizona Republican lawmakers back a U.S. ban put forward by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. The proposed U.S. ban questions the ethics of meshing man and animal in the same embryo.
Renzi represents Flagstaff, Sedona and Casa Grande while Franks represents Glendale, Sun City, Peoria and Kingman.