ISSCR Applauds Reversal of U.S. Policies Restricting Fetal Tissue Research

  • 16 April, 2021
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The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), the largest professional organization of stem cell researchers from around the world, applauds HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for lifting the restrictions on research using fetal tissue. ISSCR President Christine Mummery released the following statement:

“The scientific community appreciates that the Biden Administration is lifting the arbitrary restrictions on promising biomedical research using human fetal tissue. Fetal tissue is a crucial research tool that has contributed to numerous scientific advances and saved millions of lives. It was critical for the development of vaccines for polio, rubella, measles, chickenpox, and rabies. It remains essential for creating models of the human immune system for studying viral infections from HIV, Zika, coronavirus, and other viruses. Fetal tissue is important to the advancement of stem cell research and regenerative medicine because of its use as a reference material for validating stem cell-based models of human development and organs.”

“The NIH and other research agencies should be insulated from political interference. Research grants should be based on the scientific and ethical merit of each proposal. The ISSCR welcomes the return to evidence-based policymaking.”

In January 2021, the ISSCR sent a letter signed by 98 organizations to urge then-President-elect Biden to lift the Trump Administration’s restrictions on fetal tissue research. In February, the ISSCR led another letter with 94 organizations to encourage the Biden Administration to withdraw the Trump Administration’s proposed rule on fetal tissue research.