Stem Cell Research Needs Your Support

13May09

Ensure Strong Federal Support for Embryonic Stem Cell Research As you know, President Barack Obama recently signed an Executive Order designed to reverse restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that have been in place for the last eight years.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are now in the process of developing guidelines to implement the Order.

NIH has released its draft guidelines, and will be reviewing public comments on the draft over the next several weeks.  So far, NIH has received far more comments opposed to stem cell research than in support.  It is therefore critical that NIH hear from as many stem cell supporters as possible during the comment period.

Further, the draft does not permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).  SCNT is a very promising scientific technique for creating embryonic stem cells, yet opponents of SCNT mistakenly liken it to reproductive cloning.  This comparison is completely false.  The purpose of reproductive cloning is to create another human being; the purpose of SCNT is to create stem cells for research.

As a world leader in stem cell research at our Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy in Israel and as a leading advocate for stem cell research in the United States, Hadassah has a special interest in ensuring that the NIH guidelines are crafted so to advance stem cell research as quickly as possible.

Action Needed: Submit the following comments to NIH:

I applaud these guidelines that establish a framework for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Please ensure that the final draft includes language stating that stem cell lines derived using the prevailing ethical standards at the time they were derived are eligible for federal funding. Also, please include language stating that stem cell lines derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer will be eligible for federal funding. Clear and well-crafted guidelines will lead to sooner therapies and cures for millions of deserving patients. Thank you.

To submit comments, click http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm to be connected to the NIH comment form.  Provide your name and affiliation and copy and paste the text above into the comment box.  Provide the security check ID on the form and click ‘submit comments.’

Comments may be submitted until May 26, 2009

Please forward this message on to your friends, family, contacts and urge them to send this important message to the NIH

Make sure to visit the Advocacy section of the Hadassah website for continuing updates and more information: http://www.hadassah.org/advocacyTo make a donation or to join Hadassah click here.

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