LONDON (AFP) - Britain's fertility regulator said Thursday it would allow scientists to create human-animal hybrid embryos for research.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved applications from two universities to create "cytoplasmic" embryos, which merge human cells with eggs from animals such as cattle or rabbits.
However, John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said the decision was a "disastrous setback for human dignity", creating sub-human "slaves" used as raw materials.
"Of those embryos with a smaller proportion of human material, greater uncertainty arises... as to whether such an embryo is a human being with due rights," he said.
The use and destruction of embryos in research is a highly sensitive subject in the United States, for political and religious reasons.
US President George W. Bush has twice vetoed a bill seeking to allow federal funds for stem cell research as it would involve human embryo destruction.
For entire article: Are you a cow or a rabbit?