SAN FRANCISCO, June 20, 2007 Robert N. Klein, chair of the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), today issued the following statement regarding the President’s veto of federal stem cell research legislation:
The President has again dashed the hopes of millions of Americans suffering from chronic diseases and conditions, despite the overwhelming support for stem cell research in this country. If we're going to realize the potential of stem cells to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and 70 other debilitating conditions, we need scientists in every state carrying on this research. California cannot reach the potential of this medical research alone.
It is a tragedy for patient families throughout this country that this critical new frontier of medical research has been so severely handicapped by the President’s personal religious positions. The Congressional leadership clearly understands the historic potential of stem cell research to reduce human suffering. The Congressional leadership should be commended for serving as the champion of stem cell research in this historic opportunity to impact the devastating medical impact of these terrible, chronic diseases and injuries on America’s children and families.
CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. To date, the CIRM governing board has approved 136 research grants totaling more than $208 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.
Contact: Dale A. Carlson