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AAAS decries latest stem cell veto

The President has again vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would expand federal support for embryonic stem cell research. AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, stands with a broad coalition of Americans spanning all parties and faiths that supports this bill.

The scientific consensus is that embryonic stem cell research is an extremely promising approach to developing more effective treatments for devastating conditions like diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson’s disease. The bill would mandate that such research be allowed to compete for federal funding while following strict ethical guidelines.

The Executive Order is not a substitute for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The new approaches addressed by the order are still in the early stages of development and appear to already be eligible for NIH funding. AAAS strongly believes that it is only through federal support of diverse avenues of stem cell research that we may better understand the potential value and limitations of each approach.

During his tenure the President has acknowledged that it is a critical time for the American scientific enterprise, therefore it is disappointing that he has chosen to maintain restrictions on such a promising area of research. AAAS will continue to support the interests of scientists and patients in fostering medical progress. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Wednesday expressed disappointment with the decision by President George W. Bush to veto a landmark stem cell research funding bill.

The measure would have lifted restrictions on federal funding of medical research using embryonic stem cells, which proponents say would be derived from microscopic embryos left over and due to be discarded after in vitro fertility treatments. Current U.S. policy limits such funding to fewer than 20 stem cell lines that had been created when the president first announce
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Source:American Association for the Advancement of Science


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