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New ballot initiative goes after form of stem cell research

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – A new ballot initiative has been launched to ban what backers are calling human cloning in Missouri.

It's sponsored by a group calling itself Cures Without Cloning and they say the initiative will prohibit human cloning without barring stem cell research.

Chairwoman Dr. Lori Buffa is a pediatrician from the St. Louis area.

"The Missouri Constitution currently has confusing language which allows the same method of cloning that was used to create Dolly the sheep," Buffa said.

If passed, it would target the procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Connie Farrow represents the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which successfully sponsored the stem-cell research amendment passed last year.

"Their initiative is fundamentally deceptive," Farrow said. "These are anti-cure zealots who are masquerading as pro-stem cell advocates. They clearly want to ban some of the most promising forms of stem cell research and potentially life-saving stem cell cures."

Farrow says they'll aggressively fight against the initiative.