Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CIRM Looking for Closer Conformity on Egg Rules

SAN FRANCISCO --As part of its effort to achieve consistency with national standards, the California stem cell agency is moving towards allowing the use by CIRM researchers of embryos created through IVF that originally involved payments.

The CIRM Standards Working Group last week approved the move although specific language is yet to be worked out. Bernie Lo, co-chairman of the group and director of the medical ethics program at UC San Francisco, said the language would be narrowly focused.

Jesse Reynolds of the Center for Genetics and Society of Berkeley, Ca., said he was
“encouraged” by the CIRM direction. Earlier, the group had expressed concern that CIRM might be creeping towards possible creation of a loophole in the Prop. 71 ban on compensation for egg donors.

CIRM hopes to present specific language soon for its proposed rule to the Standards Working Group in a telephonic meeting. The proposal would then go to the CIRM board and from there into the official state regulation process.

In other matters involving the standards group, Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, who has been a member of the group since its beginning in 2005, is leaving the panel because of her new position as a senior advisor at the FDA,

CIRM hopes to approve a replacement at the board meeting that begins Oct. 27.

Reynolds also praised CIRM staff for the early posting of background material on matters to be discussed at the meeting last week. Additional material has been posted as well on the research standards issues facing CIRM. It all can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. I wish to clarify what "encouraged" me, and what did not. The letter from my group and PCARR to the SWG raised two concerns: (1) that the draft language would have a policy impact much greater than intended, by permitted not just the use of embryos created using paid-for gametes but also egg diversion, and (2) that the former situation created real potentials for conflicts of interest. The Group quickly made it clear that their intention included only embryos, and would craft such language. The Group also initially seemed to be very concerned about the potential for conflicts of interest. I spoke before their vote, at which time I said I was "encouraged." The vote ended up not tackling the issue of conflicts of interest. I hope that the Group can address this matter again during its upcoming conference call meeting.


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