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Consumers Call On Interstate Stem Cell Group To Endorse Open Meetings
Date:10/24/2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Interstate Alliance for Stem Cell Research should adopt a formal resolution committing to public meetings for all future sessions, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today.

The Interstate Alliance, comprised of representatives of various state stem cell programs, is meeting today and Thursday at the British Consulate in Boston.

"While the Alliance is still in its early stages, it is critical to set the correct tone for the future," wrote John M. Simpson, FTCR's Stem cell project director, in a letter to the Alliance's chair, Warren Wollschlager of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Read Simpson's letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/Wollschlagerlet.pdf

FTCR noted that while the Boston meeting is open to the public, Simpson was ejected from an earlier session of the group in Irvine, CA by a representative of the National Academies of Science. NAS is coordinating Alliance meetings. Without a formal commitment to openness, FTCR said, public access could be thwarted by the whim of a future chair.

"I fully expect the Interstate Alliance will have a major influence on rules and regulations in all the states that are represented. That means it is imperative that the public have access to your deliberations and the ability to offer input and comments," wrote Simpson. "Given the potentially contentious nature of publicly funded stem cell research, the need for the utmost transparency is even greater than would otherwise be the case."

Read the agenda for the Interstate Alliance for Stem Cell Research here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/IASCRAgenda.pdf

FTCR also urged the Alliance to create a working group to draft model regu
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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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