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Pro-Choice, Public Interest Groups Call for Stronger California Stem Cell Standards

Genetic Crossroads
May 12th, 2006

The Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research (PCARR) and the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) submitted comments on the proposed medical and ethical standards applicable to research and training funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as part of a public comment period which closed on May 1.

The proposed standards fall short in the areas of ensuring institutional accountability, establishing enforceable standards for women who provide eggs for the research, and others. The PCARR/CGS comments call on CIRM to adopt standards that would ensure:

A higher level of institutional accountability on the part of researchers, with specific recommendations for compliance by grantees, to ensure that stem cell research moves forward responsibly and effectively.

A mechanism for central oversight of the proposed "local" committees, based in research institutions (the stem cell research oversight committees, or SCROs), to ensure consistency and to provide a "fail-safe" mechanism similar to those that exist in other countries where stem cell research is conducted.

Recognition that women who provide eggs are research subjects, to ensure that they are afforded the protections provided in state and federal law and regulation, and to prevent conflicts of interest on the part of personnel involved in the procurement of eggs.

Clarification of activities, including reproductive human cloning, that are not eligible for CIRM funding.

Adequate reporting and data collection about research projects and outcomes, and public access to this information.

Click here for the full text of PCARR and CGS's comments.


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