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BIO Commends Passage of Stem Cell Research Act


WASHINGTON - Following the U.S. Senate passage, by a vote of 63-34, of S. 5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said, “I commend the Senate for the passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act and thank Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as well as the other co-sponsors for their leadership and support of this critical legislation.

“Although our nation’s existing federal stem cell policy has advanced this important field, it is clear that an expanded program is essential for this research to achieve its full potential.

“While embryonic stem cell research is still at an early stage, the nation’s top scientists agree that this technology has the greatest potential to provide new, groundbreaking therapies for diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and a host of other disabling and deadly conditions. We must do all we can to accelerate research and explore all avenues of therapeutic possibilities to their fullest. This bill allows important research to advance and creates an ethical framework to ensure that it is done appropriately.

“The bipartisan passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act by both the House and Senate reflects the strong and continued support of the vast majority of Americans for this very promising research.”

S. 5 would expand the limited number of stem cell lines currently available for federally-funded research by allowing funds to be used for research on cell lines created from excess embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics, regardless of when the cell lines were derived. These embryos are in excess of clinical need and would otherwise be discarded as medical waste. Individuals who choose to donate these embryos must give written consent and would not receive any monetary compensation for the donation.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation by a vote of 253-174 on January 11, 2007.


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