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Stem cell ballot initiative goes forward

Jan. 20, 2006 at 3:24 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A Missouri judge rejected arguments that a stem cell ballot initiative was deceptively worded, allowing the referendum attempt to move forward.

Cole County Senior Judge Byron Kinder ruled after a day of testimony over what does and does not constitute human cloning and how that definition relates to stem cell research.

Kinder ruled that an 86-word ballot title, prepared by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, accurately summarized a nearly 2,000-word proposed constitutional amendment as "sufficient, fair and impartial," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday.

The measure calls for all stem cell research legal under federal law would remain legal in Missouri, but "that no person may clone or attempt to clone a human being."

However, critics argued the ballot title could open the door to allow a controversial procedure, somatic cell nuclear transfer, which some equate with cloning.

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