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Anti-Stem-Cell-Research Ad Ignores Facts
Date:10/23/2008

DEERFIELD, Ill., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Opponents of Michigan's stem cell research initiative -- Proposal 2 -- launched an ad yesterday using the tragic and universally reprehensible Tuskegee Experiments as a basis for comparison to stem cell research. This ad is replete with myths and misinformation. Distortions about the nature and regulatory environment for stem cell research are many, and it is important to set the facts straight.

First, examine the Proposal 2 itself. The proposal explicitly states that "All stem cell research and all stem cell therapies and cures must be conducted and provided in accordance with state and local laws of general applicability, including but not limited to laws concerning scientific and medical practices and patient safety and privacy." Thus, the proposal itself provides for state regulation of this area. Opponents of Proposal 2 appear to have intentionally ignored and under-played this fact in an attempt to scare people.

In addition to the potential for state regulation, there are also federal laws that would prevent unethical research in this potentially medically important arena.

First there is federal law that would prevent unethical stem cell experiments from being performed on human subjects. Under it, Institutional Review Boards must approve any stem cell research involving human subjects, including clinical trials as well as the donation of embryos for the derivation of new embryonic stem cell lines. These review boards must approve patient consent documents and the research methods, to ensure that the scientific goals are ethical and beneficial.

Secondly there are Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committees that have been set up under guidance from the National Academy of Sciences to oversee all aspects of embryonic stem cell research. This includes research conducted in laboratory dishes, in patients, and in animals, as well as providing an additional layer of oversight o
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SOURCE The International Society for Stem Cell Research
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