In Michigan
6:22 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

MI Senate committee to vote on research restrictions

LANSING, MI –

The state Senate Health Policy Committee is poised to vote Wednesday on new restrictions surrounding embryonic stem cell research. Voters lifted a ban on state-funded embryonic stem cell research in 2008.

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The Senate bill is opposed by supporters of the amendment allowing embryonic stem research. They say it's an effort to do an end run around what voters intended.
Democratic state Senator Gretchen Whitmer says the measures would try to outlaw many types of embryonic stem cell research, or at least tie up the research in court battles.

"What it does is it stands in the way of cures, of hope, of diversification of our economy, and that's why voters said this is the right thing to do," she says.

She also says the Senate bill would also make it harder to recruit researchers, who would fear being charged with a crime.

The measure's main backers are opponents of the amendment. They say a law is needed to fill gaps in the amendment, and to ensure the research does not cross ethical boundaries.