Governor supports exploring all stem cell research in the race to find cures to diseases that affect millions
SANTA FE, NM -- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today issued the following statement regarding a possible new technique in creating embryonic stem cells for medical research:
"For the millions of Americans who stand to benefit from advances in stem cell research, this latest development signals a promising step forward. I support any progress in this field, which has the vast potential to help countless patients across the country.
"As further research continues into this new process, Congress must maintain pressure on the President to expand federal funding for the National Institute of Health to conduct research on embryonic stem cell lines, which experts have said holds the best hope in developing treatments and cures for cancer, Parkinson's, and spinal cord injuries, among many other ailments.
"Today's overwhelming passage of a stem cell research bill in the House of Representatives signals that the American people want researchers to move forward in their quest for cures.
"I urge the President to listen to the public and to not veto this bill. The citizens have spoken and are clearly in favor of advancing these research methods and the hope that comes with them.
"For too long, Americans have watched as the Bush Administration put stem cell research on the sidelines, handcuffing the nation's leading scientists by denying them critical funding.
"These recent developments from the private sector are encouraging, but as President I would move to lift the ban on federal funding for stem cell research using lines derived under strict ethical requirements from excess in vitro fertilization embryos. I will do everything in my power to give our great scientists the tools they need to make life better for millions of Americans."
Last year, Richardson announced a major $10-million investment plan in stem cell research for New Mexico, which included:
- $2 million to establish a nationally-recognized training program in Stem Cell Research for medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows, physicians and scientists.
- $4 million to recruit nationally recognized scientists. Funding is needed to support the initial recruitment costs plus provide start-up funds to buy necessary equipment and supplies, and to train and develop staff.
- $4 million in capital to establish state-of-the-art research facilities for Adult and Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Federal guidelines currently prohibit work with embryonic stem cells in space that has been constructed with federal funds. This capital outlay will be used to build a state-funded area devoted to embryonic stem cell research.