DeGette, Castle: Draft Stem Cell Guidelines Ready For Public Comment
U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Michael Castle, chief architects of bipartisan legislation expanding stem cell research, today commented on the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) draft guidelines for the federal funding of stem cell research, including embryonic stem cell research. On March 16, Reps. DeGette and Castle visited with the Acting Director Kington and leading stem cell experts at the NIH to review plans for moving forward with an expanded federal policy. The guidelines are a requirement of the March 9 Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama, which overturned former President Bush's restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
"Thanks to President Obama's recent Executive Order reversing previous restrictions, we are finally on the cusp of expanding federal support for embryonic stem cell research, which has the potential to cure diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, and spinal cord injury," said Rep. DeGette. "I am pleased that the NIH has proposed guidelines that track much of the language from the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act which was passed twice by Congress. Today's draft NIH guidelines are the first step towards an overarching, federal ethical framework. Rep. Castle and I are planning to move forward with legislation that will promote all forms of ethical stem cell research and look forward to working with the NIH towards strong federal support of ethical scientific cell based research."
"After many years under a stifled policy, we are on our way to promoting increased federal support for embryonic stem cell research," said Rep. Castle. "I am pleased to see the NIH has moved quickly to draft the Guidelines required by the Executive order, however I believe there is opportunity for more expansive Guidelines. Rep. DeGette and I have been working to develop legislative options to promote all ethical forms of stem cell research. I look forward to providing input during the comment period, and continuing to advance federal policy which is both responsible and supportive of scientific inquiry."