DO WE REALLY NEED THE FEDS?
November 2, 2005
In August 2001, President Bush limited federal spending on human embryonic stem-cell research to stem-cell line derived before that date. So far only 22 stem-cell lines qualify for federal funding and the National Institutes of Health provided only $24.3 million last year for research. According to Reason, individuals and state governments are now filling the gap.
- California voters passed an initiative that created the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine that will fund research at $300 million annually for the next three years -- more than 12 times higher than current federal funding.
- New Jersey has allocated $150 million to construct a new stem-cell research center and Governor Codey is asking voters to authorize $230 million to fund research.
- Connecticut has passed legislation authorizing $100 million in spending on both adult and embryonic stem-cell research over the next 10 years.
- Even red states like North Carolina and Texas are considering funding stem-cell research.
Private funding for academic stem-cell research is also rising, says Reason:
- The Starr Foundation is providing $50 million over three years for human embryonic stem-cell research at three New York medical institutions.
- In 2001, an anonymous donor gave Johns Hopkins University a $58.5 million gift to launch an Institute for Cell Engineering.
- In 2004, a grateful patient pledged $25 million over the next ten years to finance stem-cell research at the UT Health Science Center in Houston.
Ironically, says Reason, by restricting federal funding, President Bush may have inadvertently encouraged the creation of more stem-cell lines than otherwise would have been created.
Source: Ronald Bailey, "Do We Really Need the Feds?" Reason, August 24, 2005.
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