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US stem cell regulation news

21 November 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 335

The state Senate of Ohio has approved legislation that would limit the use of state funds for 'therapeutic' cloning and human embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research. It would also prevent people in the state benefiting from therapies developed in other states or countries that had been developed using cloning techniques or ES cells. Senate Bill 210, which follows the federal policy of President Bush, limiting state-funded researchers to work on stem cells derived from embryos created before 9 August 2001, passed through the Senate last week by 21 votes to 11.

The bill will now pass to the Ohio House of Representatives, where a similar but even more restrictive bill - banning even the use of private funds - has stalled due to lack of support. The Senate vote also came just a week after state voters approved a bond issue to provide money for biomedical research in Ohio. Advocates of ES cell research are hoping that both bills will fail in the House. Senator Eric Fingerhut, who voted against the bill, said that 'the same God that created the embryo created the miracle of its ability to differentiate and to create cures'.

A campaign group in Missouri has begun lobbying for the go-ahead for ES cell research in the state. The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures has launched a state-wide advertising campaign asking voters to sign petitions which will enable it to put a measure in favour of ES cell research on next year's ballot. If the group collects the 145,000 signatures needed, the pro-research proposal will be seen on the November 2006 ballot. The petitions are a response to efforts in the state legislature designed to restrict the research in the state.

Meanwhile, the California Superior Court has been asked to throw out lawsuits issued by pro-life and 'politically conservative interest groups', designed to disrupt the work of the State's stem cell agency. In November 2004, Californians voted in favour of Proposition 71, which established the California Institute of Reproductive Medicine (CIRM) and agreed to it issuing bonds to fund $3 billion of grants for ES cell research. But since then, two lawsuits have been issued which challenge the constitutionality of the CIRM - they allege that because the board members of the agency are not elected officials, they have no authority to distribute public funds. The delay caused by the lawsuits means that the agency cannot start work, meaning that no funds for ES cell research have been issued.

Last week, Tamar Pachter, a lawyer from the State Attorney General's office asked Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw, from Almeda County Superior Court, to throw out the two lawsuits. 'We are here because voters of this state enacted Proposition 71 last November and we haven't been able to do what the voters asked us to do because we are locked up in litigation', she said. Robert Klein, chairman of the CIRM, said that he has opened negotiations with 'charitable organisations and wealthy benefactors to loan the agency up to $50 million until the lawsuits are resolved'. A ruling on whether the lawsuits can proceed is expected at a later date.

Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Airs Television Ads to Support Signature Effort
PR Newswire |  18 November 2005
Ohio Senate OKs stem cell curbs
The Toledo Blade |  16 November 2005
Stem cell program in limbo: Hayward judge reviewing lawsuits that block research
San Francisco Chronicle |  18 November 2005
22 May 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
California's stem cell programme is now free to start distributing its $3 billion funding to researchers, following the refusal of the state's Supreme Court to consider another legal challenge. The high court upheld last year's ruling by a lower court, which upheld the constitutionality of the...
2 October 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill that prevents both private and state-funded laboratories from paying women to donate eggs for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The Reproductive Health and Research Bill (SB1260), sponsored by state Senators Deborah Ortiz and...
2 May 2006 - by BioNews 
The Senate Health Care Committee in the US state of Florida voted 7-1 last week in favour of a bill that would provide state funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Senate Bill 468, sponsored by Democrat Senator Ron Klein, would provide $15 million of state funds for ES...
23 January 2006 - by BioNews 
The House of Representatives in the US state of Delaware has voted 32-3 in favour of legislation banning human cloning but making no mention of embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The bill (called SB 80) was the result of a compromise, having had language regulating ES cell research removed...
5 December 2005 - by BioNews 
Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the US state of California's stem cell programme have been knocked back by a judge at Almeda County Superior Court. Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw has ruled that the legal arguments relied upon by opponents of the stem cell programme do not stand up, meaning that...
7 November 2005 - by BioNews 
Jim Doyle, the Governor of the US State of Wisconsin, has vetoed legislation (bill 499) passed in the state that would have meant that all forms of human cloning were prohibited. He says that he used his right of veto because the law would mean that some of the 'most...
29 March 2005 - by BioNews 
The California Supreme Court has thrown out two lawsuits that sought to get rid of the state's $3 billion stem cell research funding initiative. The high court refused to hear the cases, but said that its ruling won't prevent the lawsuits from being filed again, in a trial court. Both...
28 February 2005 - by BioNews 
Two groups in California have begun a legal action seeking to invalidate Proposition 71, the $3 billion dollar stem cell research funding initiative approved by voters in the state last November. The November ballot, in which 59 per cent of Californians voted in favour of state funding for human embryonic...
20 December 2004 - by BioNews 
The first chairman has been appointed to oversee the newly created Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine, it was reported last week. Robert N Klein, a real estate developer, was also one of the brains behind Proposition 71, the bill passed on 2 November that allowed California to break away from...
4 November 2004 - by BioNews 
Voters in the US state of California have passed Proposition 71, a bill also known as the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. Fifty-nine per cent of people voted in favour, with 41 per cent voting against the measure, which will establish California as the first state to publicly...
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