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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC

STEM CELL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2007 -- (Extensions of Remarks - January 12, 2007)

* Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I find it no coincidence that as we were preparing to deliberate federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, a study was released that announced a breakthrough in the form of amniotic-fluid stem cell research. These stem cells do not present any ethical controversy and have already shown more promise than embryonic stem cells.

* Federal funding already goes to research and development for embryonic stem cells. The NIH currently spends $40 million for such studies. It spends $600 million on stem cell research in general. In fact, nearly $3 billion has been spent on all stem cell research over the past six years.

* Much of this research, like the amniotic fluid stem cell research, is without the ethical dilemma, and has simply proven to be more effective.

* Researchers have expended years of time and energy trying to develop a single treatment or cure for any disease from embryonic stem cells to no avail; and actually finding adverse consequences like tumors at the implantation site. But adult stem cells have already provided us with treatment options for 72 diseases. Adult stem cells have shown a real return on the American people's investment.

* We have seen results from adult stem cells and should continue to support and subsidize progress in this field. And, as I mentioned a moment ago, there is a new option in the form of amniotic stem cells which has already shown great promise and even more success than embryonic stem cells.

* The face of this debate has already changed in the short time since it came before us last summer; and while this latest discovery provides hope, it should also act as a warning. A warning that we cannot make rash decisions which cost not only federal dollars, but also human lives.

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