Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Call for Comments on NIH Draft Guidelines

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Show Your Support for Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research
Submit Comments on NIH Draft Guidelines
Your voice is needed. NIH is requesting feedback from the public on new guidelines for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and significant opposition is expected.
President Obama's March 9 Executive Order lifted the Bush Administration's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and instructed the NIH to develop guidelines for federal funding. Please submit your comments on the guidelines by May 26 to show your support for federal funding of stem cell research - NIH will be considering both the content and the volume of the comments received.

We have provided sample comment text below that any advocate can submit to NIH. However, we encourage you to modify the comments based on your reasons for supporting stem cell research or expertise you may have in the field. To review the guidelines before you submit your comment, go to:

How to Submit Your Comments - Deadline May 26
  • To access the NIH comment form, go to:
  • Provide your name, and select 'self' for Affiliation; and
  • Copy and paste the text below into the comment box, edit as appropriate, and submit your comments.
Sample Comment Text

It is important for the federal government to support all types of stem cell research. Our nation's leadership in health-related research depends upon such funding, as does the health of its citizens. A majority of Americans (73%) favor federal funding for embryonic stem cell research according to a Research!America poll. The final guidelines for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research must ensure that science can progress to the fullest extent possible.

I am pleased that the draft guidelines would expand the number of embryonic stem cell lines that are eligible for federal funding. However, the final guidelines should allow federal funding of all avenues of stem cell research. Specifically, the guidelines must ensure that any line that is currently eligible for funding should remain eligible so that research underway is not halted. It is also important for the guidelines to support funding of research on stem cell lines derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer. The NIH should continue to monitor developments in the field and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

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