Senate committee opens hearings on stem cell research restrictions

Lansing, MI – The state Senate Health Policy Committee opened hearings Wednesday on a package that regulates stem cell research at universities and publicly funded clinics. That research is allowed by an amendment to the state constitution that was approved last year by Michigan voters.

Supporters of the package say it will ensure that stem cell research is not used unethically or to try to pursue some type of human cloning.

Critics of the legislation say it is so broad it will discourage the types of legitimate research that voters approved. Doctor Graham Parker is a Wayne State University research professor and the editor of a stem cell research journal. He says, "The definitions that are being used either have been created by people who have ill-considered how they might be implemented or interpreted or have been created to, shall we say, put fear into the researchers from actually trying to attempt to do that work."

Parker says there are already laws and ethical standards governing medical research.