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New Federal Stem Cell Rules Would Hinder Existing Research, Consumer Group Warns
Date:5/20/2009

f their specific technical standards. In addition some stem cell lines derived with state or private funding or in other countries since 2001 don't meet some of the technical specifications of the proposed NIH rules.

For instance, under the new NIH guidelines donors would have to be told that the embryos would be used for stem cell research. When some of the earlier lines were derived, donors were told more generically that the embryos would be used for research. The new regulations call for an explicit statement that the results of using the human embryonic stem cells may have commercial potential and that the donor would not receive any financial benefit from such commercial development. They also would have to be told that the stem cell lines derived from the donated embryos might be maintained for many years.

"The NIH guidelines set the highest standards and make sense going forward," said Simpson. "However the earlier lines were derived under Institutional Review Board (IRB) supervision, following ethical guidelines then in place, suggested by such organizations as the National Academies of Science, or covered by state regulations like those of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. It would be wrong to preclude them from federal funding going forward. You can't hold someone to standards that didn't exist when these lines were derived in good faith according to then existing standards."

Consumer Watchdog supports modifications proposed by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and suggestions raised by the Interstate Alliance on Stem Cell Research.

The draft NIH regulations are open for public comment until May 26. Comments may be made on line here: http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm .

Read the proposed regulations here:

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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