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New petition counters stem cell initiative

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A counter proposal to the Missouri Stem Cell Initiative might go on November's ballot.

A group called the Elliot Institute has gotten initial approval from the Secretary of State's Office for its petition to ban human cloning.

This is contrast to the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which is getting to protect stem cell research.

Coalition Executive Director Donn Rubin calls the new Elliot Institute petition extreme.

"It would appear it could ban embryonic stem cell research, adult stem research and various other kinds of research that don't involve stem cells," Rubin said.

The Elliott Institute's director says the group's petition is trying to fill in gaps in the Stem Cell Initiative.

"It doesn't get in the way of any cures that have been or will be developed in an ethical manner," Reardon said. "It does address unaddressed issues in the Stem Cell Initiative that leaves the door open for genetic engineering."

But it's unclear what exactly Reardon means by genetic engineering.

The Secretary of State's office is currently drawing up the petition language for the Elliot Institute's proposed constitutional amendment.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures has filed suit in federal court against the Elliott Institute.

They charge the Institute is deceiving voters by mimicking the Coalition's website. (See story below)

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