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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act Passes U.S. House Of Representatives

Bill Passes with 238 Votes in Favor; Will Expand Administration Policy on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

(WASHINGTON, DC) Ė The Parkinsonís Action Network (PAN) today applauds the United States House of Representatives for passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, HR 810, with 238 votes. The bill, which had strong bi-partisan support, will expand the current federal policy on embryonic stem cell research.

ďWe commend the work of Representative Mike Castle (R-DE), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), and every Member of Congress who supported this important legislation,Ē said PAN Executive Director Amy L. Comstock. ďNow itís time to work with leaders in the U.S. Senate and the Administration to make sure it becomes law. By expanding federal research, we will accomplish our shared goal of helping millions of Americans suffering from many devastating conditions, including Parkinsonís disease.Ē

The bill amends the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research. The bill specifies strict ethical guidelines. The stem cells must come from in vitro fertilization (IVF) created embryos. After the individual seeking fertility treatment no longer needed the embryos and the embryos would otherwise be discarded, there exists an option to donate the unused embryos. There must be provided written informed consent and the donors would not receive any compensation.

ďThe more people learn about embryonic stem cell research, the more they realize the potential to fight disease and improve the lives of the 110 millions of Americans who are suffering, and therefore the more supportive they become. That is why the momentum continues to grow every day Ė we are making great progress to help all families touched by diseases like cancer, diabetes, Parkinsonís, ALS and Alzheimerís. If I had not been part of this movement, I would never believe how far we have come and how supportive the American public is. This truly is a heart and conscience issue,Ē said Rep. Castle.

Said Comstock: ďThere will be innumerable challenges in this complex science, but stem cell research will go forward. This legislation will lift the unfair federal limitations on this important research. Because of those limitations, we simply arenít making the progress we should be. America should not only be engaged in stem cell research, we should be at the forefront. Ensuring that this legislation becomes law will be a strong step forward in that direction, and PAN and Parkinsonís advocates will do their part to help pass such a bill in the United States Senate and the White House.Ē

Source: Parkinson's Action Network www.parkinsonsaction.org

PAN is the unified advocacy voice of the Parkinsonís communityómore than one million Americans and their families. Through education and interaction with the Parkinsonís community, scientists, lawmakers, opinion leaders, and the public, PAN leads the fight to ease the burden and find a cure. PAN increases awareness about Parkinsonís disease and seeks federal support for Parkinsonís research. For more information on the Parkinsonís Action Network, please visit www.parkinsonsaction.org or call 1-800-850-4726. PDF supports PAN with an annual grant, currently $150,000.

Source Date: May 24 2005