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ISSCR Statement on the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board Meeting

  • 4 August, 2020
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ISSCR President Christine Mummery released the following statement regarding the first meeting of the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board:

“Promising biomedical research has been delayed since last fall due to the redundant ethics review required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new policy on research using human fetal tissue. This research has already been evaluated by institutional ethics committees and deemed scientifically and technically meritorious through NIH’s peer review process.”

"We are disappointed that some of the members of the advisory board are longstanding opponents of stem cell research who have been prominent sources of disinformation related to medical research. The appointment of these people to the board raises the possibility that the administration does not intend to fairly consider this important research. We fear that the most meritorious science will be further undermined by ideology just when America and the world desperately need the most promising medical research to defeat viral diseases.”

The ISSCR and a coalition of 90 organizations reinforced the importance of fetal tissue research and advocated for its use in biomedical research in a letter submitted to the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board