Stem cell research controversy expands

August 10, 2005

The often emotional controversy concerning stem cell research is reportedly expanding from Washington, now involving an increasing number of states.

In Kansas City, Mo., a $300 million newly built stem cell laboratory that has recruited nearly 200 scientists from as far away as China and Argentina can't conduct its most ambitious research because of opposition from conservative state lawmakers, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

In California, $3 billion approved by voters for such research has been blocked by lawsuits and legislative maneuvers

In Illinois, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich revealed last month he hid $10 million in his state's budget to fund embryonic stem cell research.

While South Dakota forbids research on all embryos, New Jersey is funding an embryonic stem cell program. And in New York City, a private foundation recently gave $50 million to three medical institutions for stem cell work to sustain the city's research credentials, the Post reported.

At the federal level, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R.-Tenn., a physician, recently reversed his earlier stance, announcing support for federal stem cell research funding. President Bush has threatened to veto any such federal effort.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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