Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Still Time to be Heard on Stem Cell Ethics and Conflict Rules

Some folks in Santa Monica have made an important point that has been largely overlooked by the mainstream media.

That is, the stem cell regulatory opera is not over until the California Office of Administrative Law makes its own special brand of music.

The case in point is conflict of interest regulations for the working groups at the California stem cell agency. The agency has approved the rules, but to have the force of law, they must go through the same regulatory process that all state regulations face.

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, noted recently the regulations are open for public comment until May 29. Other regulations to set ethical standards for CIRM-funded research will have an administrative law public hearing on May 1 in Oakland, the day the comment period on them closes.

Simpson, by the way, does not think much of proposed conflict of interest rules.
"These rules require the members to disclose potential conflicts, but then the information is kept secret and the public has no access. ...We need full public disclosure," he said.
Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, as well thinks poorly of the conflict of interest rules. Her bill, SB401, would tighten them considerably but not as much as Simpson would like.

Here is a link to the CIRM's Web page on the administrative law proceedings. Sphere: Related Content

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