Stem cell research climate

Legal stalemate keeps small window of opportunity open in the United States

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)
Jun 26, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The legislative deadlock in Congress and explicit regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make the United States a viable and, in some cases, preferable place to do stem cell and "therapeutic" cloning research, according to speakers at this week's Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) conference. Still, some US scientists seeking to do such research continue to look overseas.

Federal legislation on the subject of cloning is unlikely to pass this year. A bill sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) that would ban all cloning research has passed in the House but stalled in the Senate. Its companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), has been referred to committee.

With California having already endorsed so-called therapeutic cloning, a potentially important source of stem cells, and with New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts likely to do the same, stem cell scientists now have potential research sanctuaries—if they can...

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