In a September 5 letter to the chairs and ranking members of both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) stated strong opposition to legislation prohibiting the use of federal funds for research involving fetal tissue or embryonic stem cells.
In its comments, FASEB highlighted several key scientific and health advances resulting from fetal tissue and stem cell research, as well as the extensive regulatory and ethical framework overseeing such research activities. FASEB’s comments were in response to legislation approved by the House of Representatives that included a provision to prohibit the use of federal funds for research using fetal tissue.
Throughout August there were reports that the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill—which provides funding for NIH—would also include limitations on funding for stem cell research, and organizations including FASEB and the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research began efforts to oppose this language. As of September 7, it appears there will be no restrictions on stem cell research in the Senate bill.