Scientists have reacted with anger to US President George W Bush’s decision to veto a bill allowing federal funding for new embryonic stem cell research. They argue it will damage a promising field of medical research. Leading researchers labelled Mr Bush “hypocritical”, “out of touch” and “selfish” over his decision not to sign into law a bill approved by Congress. Mr Bush argued that the law “crossed a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect”.
Polls suggest most Americans back the research, which scientists hope will lead to cures for serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. The vetoed bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, would have scrapped limits on federal funding imposed by Mr Bush in 2001. It was the first time in his presidency that Mr Bush refused to sign into law a bill approved by Congress. The bill failed to reach the two-thirds majority in its Senate vote which would have overturned the presidential veto.