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Government urged to bring in stem cell legislation

The government promised to regulate stem cell research in the Programme for Government – but there’s no sign of legislation yet.

A lab technician works with stem cell samples at a lab in Louisiana (File photo)
A lab technician works with stem cell samples at a lab in Louisiana (File photo)
Image: AP Photo/Derick E Hingle

THE GOVERNMENT HAS been urged to introduce stem cell legislation which it committed to do in the Programme for Government.

The Irish Stem Cell Foundation has said that the current gap in the area of stem cell legislation puts patients at risk and deters investment from Ireland.

To mark Stem Cell Awareness Day, which falls today, the Irish Stem Cell Foundation called on the government to  regulate stem cell research.

“The current void of stem cell legislation in Ireland puts patients at unnecessary risk and expense, deters investment and expertise coming to Ireland, allows the general public to be easily confused about stem cells, and impairs Ireland’s capacity to do internationally competitive R&D in a growing number of areas,” said Stephen O’Sullivan of the ISCF.

The issue of embryonic stem cell research remains controversial as it requires the use and destruction of a human embryo in order to create a human embryonic stem cell. However, adult stem cells have increasingly been used for research purposes instead in recent years.

Read: US can now classify heavily modified stem cells as ‘drugs’ >

Poll: Do you support embryonic stem cell research? >

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