DeGetter Applauds Embryonic Stem Cell Findings
Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), chief architect of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, today offered the following comments on the recent findings that embryonic stem cells are still necessary by a U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel:
"Embryonic stem cell research holds much promise to unlocking the cures for many diseases. I could not agree more with the recent findings of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee that the use of embryonic stem cells is still necessary.
"Recent advances in cell-based research have been very encouraging, but we must support all forms of cell-based research by allowing all types, including embryonic stem cell research, to move forward. It is clear to me that we need a comprehensive, ethical oversight framework for all cell-based research, as well as a national commitment to a robust research program in the United States.
"I look forward to introducing new legislation with my colleague Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE) that will lift the ban on federal funding for research on embryonic stem cell lines developed after August 2001 and will direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to construct a framework for ethical oversight of all cell-based research. In order for the United States to retain its cutting-edge scientific status, we must make a national commitment to a robust research program."
Echoing the panel's statement that some regulation of stem cell research is needed, DeGette intends to launch a new legislative effort by introducing new stem cell legislation that will not only overturn President Bush's 2001 directive, but will also mandate the development of a national ethical oversight framework for all cell-based research. Reuters reported that the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Committee, a U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel, revised a 2005 report on stem cells because of the recent advances and also found that the use of embryonic stem cells in cell-based research is still necessary.