A nonprofit group has filed a federal complaint alleging that Stanford University withheld funding for research involving human fetal tissues and animals – a pervasive problem, according to the group, which leaves taxpayers in ignorance of controversial experiences.
The White Coat Waste Project (WCW), which opposes publicly funded animal experiments, highlighted in its complaint on Tuesday Stanford press releases about experiments aimed at regenerating human cartilage, which is difficult to regrow. for adults. These experiments attract special attention, however, as they used fetal fingers and other tissue transplanted into mice.
Without specifying how many federal dollars were involved, WCW alleges that the university violated a law known as the Stevens Amendment. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the amendment requires press releases and other announcements regarding “the percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the federally funded program or project.”
The complaint to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) argues that the Stanford Medical School news center has failed, as a whole, to report these amounts. When asked about the press releases, the school told Fox News that it only specified dollar amounts in the articles about the grants themselves.
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“Stanford Medicine does not cite any grant amount in any press release unless the news is about the grant itself,” spokeswoman Julie Greicius said Monday.
When Stanford announced last year that it had found a way to restore cartilage, Charles KF Chan, assistant professor of surgery, said the research success was “extremely gratifying.”
“Cartilage has virtually no regeneration potential in adulthood, so once it’s injured or gone, what we can do for patients is very limited,” Chan said. “It is extremely rewarding to find a way to help the body push back this important tissue.”
Tuesday’s NIH complaint could add to the growing scrutiny of fetal tissue research, the restrictions of which were recently relaxed by the Biden administration.
While it is not known how much federal money was allocated to the experiments reported by WCW, the group says that “NIH grants listed as funding sources on the two articles have received more than $ 60 million. “
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Stanford studies attempted to regenerate cartilage and identify a skeletal stem cell by implanting human tissue in mice. Both experiments obtained tissue from StemExpress, the tissue supplier Congress investigated in connection with anti-abortion activist David Daleiden’s secret videos on Planned Parenthood. While each of these organizations has denied trafficking in fetal tissue, questions have been raised because of Daleiden’s 2015 videos and documents uncovered during his civil lawsuit with the abortion provider.
“Fourteen human fetal samples were obtained from Stemexpress (Folsom, CA) and shipped overnight,” one of the articles in the study read. “The samples were 10 to 20 weeks gestation with no race or sex restrictions. Purchase and handling of fetal samples was in accordance with guidelines established by the Institutional Review Board.”
In a statement to Fox News, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, ridiculed these types of experiments as “unethical” and demanded additional transparency.
“Taxpayers in Iowa and across the country have a right to know exactly how their hard-earned dollars are being spent, and that is exactly why I asked the HHS Inspector General to investigate these violations. transparency, by Stanford and many others, and why I proposed the COST Act to ensure that hard-working Americans have easy access to how the federal government spends their money, ”she said.
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“Right now, US federal agencies are hiding the fact that they are spending your taxes on unethical human fetal tissue research,” Ernst continued.
Ernst and Representative Ralph Norman, RS.C., introduced the COST Act, which would impose penalties for failing to disclose the amount of taxpayer money used in federally funded experiments.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has also called on various departments, including the HHS, to improve monitoring of grantee compliance with the Stevens Amendment. In a 2019 report, he said: “[m]Most of the sub-agencies and operational divisions that monitor compliance have not collected information from grantees on how grantees calculate dollar amounts and percentages in their Stevens Amendment funding disclosures. “
Proponents of fetal tissue research have argued that it can contribute to substantial medical innovations.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), research on fetal tissue has helped defend against disease and understand viral infections.
“Research on human fetal tissue research has led to the development of a number of important research and medical advancements, such as the development of a polio vaccine,” reads a code of ethics WADA Medical Center. “Fetal tissue has also been used to study the mechanism of viral infections and to diagnose viral infections and inherited diseases, as well as to develop transplant therapies for a variety of conditions, for example, parkinsonism.”
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He argues, however, that researchers should adhere to certain ethical guidelines, such as not offering money in exchange for fetal tissue.
Yet anti-abortion advocates say the use of aborted fetal tissue is wrong. “Federal agencies should not waste millions of our taxpayer dollars on grotesque, violent and unnecessary experiments on human fetal tissue on animals,” said Terrisa Bukovinac, president of Democrats for Life.
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