Research!America asks Congress to support embryonic stem cell research now

WASHINGTON — September 8, 2010 — Research!America today called on Congress to take legislative action that will allow federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research to proceed, in light of U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s refusal yesterday to lift his recent injunction on federally funded research using embryonic stem cells.

Research!America strongly supports the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act (H.R. 4808) introduced in March 2010 by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Mike Castle (R-DE) that would allow federal funding for ethical research using human embryonic stem cells.

Research!America’s chair, former Illinois Congressman John Edward Porter, said, “Diana DeGette and Mike Castle continue to lead this issue. They have a bill in the House now that would bring a clear legislative solution and allow embryonic stem cell research to move forward without further legal challenges or shifts in the political landscape. It is absolutely critical that Congress pass this legislation quickly to minimize the devastating scientific and economic consequences of the current injunction. The timeline for potential new treatments for millions of patients has been thrown into limbo, and American jobs and even entire labs are at risk. To date the NIH has invested $546 million in human embryonic stem cell research, and much of the return on that investment will be lost if this research cannot move forward.”

Research!America’s president and CEO Mary Woolley added, “Human embryonic stem cell research offers hope to millions suffering from disease and disability in the U.S. and around the world. An August 2010 Research!America poll found that fully 70% of Americans favor expanded federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells. What this shows is that support for embryonic stem cell research goes even beyond patients and their families to include the broad majority of Americans. If enough of our elected members of Congress hear from that majority, they will take action.”

Research!America is the nation’s largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org.

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