Kansas temporarily avoids stem-cell fight

May 11, 2006

A proposed ban on Kansas-funded stem-cell research has been killed, but a legislative panel will reportedly examine the controversial issue.

A compromise reached in the final hours of the 2006 Kansas legislative session removed the proposed ban from the state budget, The Kansas City Star reported Thursday. But the compromise is said to be only a short-term victory for those who say a ban could hurt a broad range of medical research and efforts to lure bioscience investment to Kansas.

Conservative lawmakers and anti-abortion groups want to outlaw the use of state dollars for stem-cell research.

But scientists at Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City say such a ban would hurt vital research into cures for such diseases as cancer and Parkinson's.

"Anti-science legislation, particularly legislation that rules out certain kinds of research, would be devastating to our ability to recruit and retain the best researchers," said William Neaves, president of the institute.

Anti-abortion groups, which support a research ban, accuse lawmakers who argued against the ban of caving in to research companies.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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