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Brownback Condemns House Vote on Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Supports cord blood stem cell research

Location: Washington, DC

Brownback Condemns House Vote on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Supports cord blood stem cell research

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today condemned a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

"The vote in the House to allow taxpayer-funded destruction of young human lives is deeply troubling," Brownback said. "We all have a duty to protect the innocent, and this vote represents a failure to recognize the scientific fact that stem cell research that destroys embryos kills young human children.

"We don't need destructive research when efficacious and ethical alternatives exist. In fact, after 20 years of work in mice, human embryonic stem cell research has not resulted in a single human application, and results in mice are, at best, very modest. On the other hand, ethical non-destructive research has resulted in at least 58 different types of treatments and cures for real people."

A second bill, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith and passed by the House today, would encourage the use of cord blood stem cells for research. Cord blood stem cells are taken from human umbilical cords, which contain a high number of pluripotent stem cells. Once considered medical waste, it has been discovered that cord blood has the potential to save thousands of lives.

Over the past two years, about $20 million has been appropriated for the purpose of establishing a National Cord Blood Bank, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Brownback worked with Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) to include the appropriation in FY 2004 and FY 2005. He has also introduced legislation with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Specter, and Tom Harkin (D-IA) that would appropriate sufficient funds to ensure the success of a National Cord Blood Bank.

Brownback continued, "I have conveyed to Senate leadership that we must do everything we can procedurally to stop unethical embryonic stem cell research in the Senate and I will work to do just that. We simply should not go down the road of using taxpayer dollars to kill young humans. Destroying embryos for any reason remains unethical and unnecessary."

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