Berlin, Germany -- Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder backed Germany's 10-year-old law banning human embryo research on Friday despite pressure from some scientists to oppose it.
Schroeder called the ban on production of human embryos for research purposes "right and appropriate" and said he supported a recent move by the Health Ministry to shelve proposed new draft legislation for an indefinite period.
"There is no need just to throw it overboard," he told a meeting of his Social Democratic Party in Berlin, saying current legislation had proved over time to be solid.
Germany is keen to develop its biotechnology sector and Schroeder appeared until recently more favorable to a change in the law. In a magazine contribution last month he spoke out against "ideological taboos" in the debate.
Germany, which is haunted by memories of the Nazi bid to create a "master race" and the murder of the handicapped and others whose genes were considered worthless, is home to some of the strongest resistance to embryo research in Europe.
A vote by the British parliament to allow parts of human embryos to be used in developing new medical treatments was condemned across Germany's political spectrum. Only a few individual politicians applauded the move.