YORKSHIRE Euro MP David Bowe has backed controversial medical research on human tissue.
The European Union Parliament in Strasbourg approved proposals which will introduce measures to allow the EU-wide exchange of medical products and therapies based on human tissues and cells.
Mr Bowe said he had received many letters from constituents calling for research into degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
He said: "A vote in the European Parliament will be the best possible message of hope this Christmas for millions of people who are looking to medical science to find a cure to the illnesses which devastate their lives."
Mr Bowe, Labour's European spokesman on the environment, said relatives of sufferers were concerned that opponents of the medical research on human tissue may have blocked the vote.
Mr Bowe said:
"We should be proud that in Britain we have led the way in establishing a balanced approach to the issue of embryonic stem cell research.
"It has been authorised, under proper controls, for the past three years and I have no doubt that in the not-too-distant future we shall see it open the way to a range of diseases which involve malfunctioning cells.
"Yet if the right in Europe had their way, research which is perfectly legal and well-controlled in the UK, would be banned."
Mr Bowe said that cross border trade in human tissues - ranging from corneas and blood products to bone marrow and stem cells - has already developed into a multi-million pound industry.
He added: "It makes sense to establish a Europe-wide framework which can ensure proper safety standards and guard against a profit-driven black market which exploits vulnerable individuals and poses huge risks of disease and infection."