St. Louis Public Radio News
6:04 am
Fri September 15, 2006

Missouri stem cell amendment debated at Clayton forum

St. Louis – The head of a group supportive of a ballot measure that would allow embryonic stem cell research in Missouri says the proposed constitutional amendment includes strong ethical safeguards.

The proposal on the November 7 ballot would allow any form of stem cell research in Missouri that's allowed by federal law.

Donn Rubin, who heads the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, says the measure would also prohibit human cloning.

"One of the ethical guidelines that's created is a strict ban on anyone who attempts to clone a human being in the state of Missouri," Rubin said.

But Dr. Richard Chole with Missourians Against Human Cloning says that's misleading.

"If you create an embryo by nuclear transfer, by any reasonable definition at least at some frequency, you're creating an embryo," Chole said. "If you try to define it away, you're being disingenuous."

Rubin and Chole debated the stem cell issue Friday at a forum hosted by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce.