US court stops Obama government’s funding of embryonic stem cell research

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LONDON - A US district court has issued a temporary injunction against expanded federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, which was part of a new policy outlined by the Obama administration last year.

The court ruled in favour of the researchers who claimed that human embryonic stem cell research involved the destruction of human embryos.

Judge Royce Lamberth said that lawsuits brought against the new guidelines could now go ahead.

“To conduct ESC (embryonic stem cell) research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo,” the BBC quoted Judge Lamberth, as saying.

Justice Lamberth, however, added that an injunction would not “seriously harm” embryonic studies because it does “not interfere with a researcher’s ability to obtain private funding for research.

Researchers affiliated to several Christian groups filed the case, saying that human embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of human embryos, and that the new NIH guidelines for human stem cell research were ‘contrary to law’.

Last March, President Barack Obama reversed an eight-year government block on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, signing an executive order that overturned former president George W. Bush’s policy limiting research on then-existing cells, which was put in place during his first year in office in 2001. (ANI)

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