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Blackburn Statement on Stem Cell Research

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Blackburn Statement On Stem Cell Research

No treatment trials in human beings have been successful using embryonic stem cells

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) will attend the Energy and Commerce Committee's critical hearing on stem cell research today. The Congressman will stress the value of adult stem cell research, which does not require the destruction of human embryos, over embryonic stem cell research. Below are excerpts of Rep. Blackburn's opening statement as prepared for delivery:

"Embryonic stem cell research is understandably a controversial issue. It entangles ethical and moral standards in scientific research and in the process distresses millions of our constituents."

"What I find so frustrating about this debate is the absence of evidence that could justify the continued research into embryonic stem cells. While no journals have published successful embryonic studies, we have a wealth of studies saying that adult stem cells are entirely viable."

"In almost all cases, research tells us adult stem cells are equivalent or superior to embryonic stem cells. The advantage here is obvious. Harvesting adult stem cells does not require any destruction of human embryos. Still, the political-scientific community insists on pursuing embryonic stem cell research and in the process wastes scarce resources and time when more promising and less controversial lanes of research exist."

"One particular disease that is touted for support of embryonic stem cell research is diabetes. But since 2002, published studies in stem cells and diabetes journals concluded that trials using these cells showed no cures; and most of the time, the treatments resulted in tumors."

"Significant progress, however, has been made on treating diabetes with adult stem cells. Since 2003, studies in the same journals showed adult stem cells successfully treated diabetes in mice. And when human trials conducted in Brazil and Europe began to use adult stem cells for treatment, many of the patients were insulin free after stem cell transplants."

"Mr. Chairman, the federal government should shift its focus to the more promising, and more ethical lines of adult stem cell research. Adult stem cells have a proven track record, and NIH should be focusing most of its funds on them. I urge my colleagues to reconsider their views and support science that actually works and shows results."

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