General Electric has announced that it will use embryonic stem cells
provided by Geron Corporation for the purpose of testing toxic effects
of drug treatments.
GE issued a statement, attempting to preempt criticism over the
decision, saying, "We acknowledge the considerable debate and take very
seriously the ethical and societal issues associated with research
using stem cells derived from embryonic or fetal tissue."
"We conduct our research in an ethically and scientifically responsible
manner," the statement said.
However, embryonic stem cells have been the center of heated
controversy since harvesting the cells requires the destruction of
embryonic human beings.
But Geron Corporation indicates that in this case it believes that the
ends justify the means.
"Up to three quarters of toxicity problems are not detected until
preclinical or later stages of drug development and this significantly
increases the cost of developing new drugs," Geron Corporation said in
a press release, "Earlier detection of toxicity problems could reduce
both overall drug development costs and potentially harmful patient
exposure in clinical trials."
Konstantin Fielder, General Manager of Cell Technologies at GE
Healthcare said that stem cells harvested from human embryos could even
replace lab rats as the primary scientific testing method.
"Once you have human cells and you can get them in a standardized way,
like you get right now your lab rats in a standardized way, you can
actually do those experiments on those cells," he said.
Both GE and Geron have said that the stem cells to be used are listed
on a National Institutes of Health registry, making them eligible for
use in the United States.
here for contact Information for General Electric.
Contact: Alex Bush
Date: July 1, 2009
to this article.
this article to a friend.
The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.