The article by Denise Grady and Nicolaus St. Fleur said,
"(F)etal tissue is a uniquely rich source of the stem cells that give rise to tissues and organs, and that studying how they develop can provide clues about how to grow replacements for parts of the body that have failed.
“'Think of fetal tissue as a kind of instruction booklet,' said Sheldon Miller, the scientific director of the intramural research program at the National Eye Institute.
"Stem cells derived from adult tissue may eventually replace fetal ones, researchers say, but the science is not there yet."
“Under the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, it is "unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the
transfer affects interstate commerce." While this provision prohibits the sale or purchase of fetal
tissue itself, the term "valuable consideration" does not include reasonable payments associated
with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of
human fetal tissue. As the committee with legislative jurisdiction over the NIH Revitalization
Act of 1993, we have an oversight responsibility and interest in determining whether there is
adequate compliance with the law, and/or whether the law is adequately meeting ethical and
A Reuters story said that none of the companies has responded to a request for comment.