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[IP] Stem Cell support - ACTION NEEDED



I am in receipt of an action request from the JDRF and the Stem Cell funding
coalition.

Please contact your congressman immediately and ask him to sign the
DeGette/Ramstad bipartisan letter to the President.

Steve





URGENT:  BIPARTISAN HOUSE STEM CELL LETTER TO PRESIDENT CIRCULATING

--Call Your Member of Congress and urge him/her to sign the letter



Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) are circulating
a letter to other House members to sign that will be sent to the President
and is in support of embryonic stem cell research.  It is critical that we
get as many House members as possible to sign this letter and show that
there is a strong base of support in the House of Representatives for
federal funding of stem cell research.



PLEASE CALL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS AND ASK HIM OR HER TO SIGN THE
DEGETTE/RAMSTAD STEM  CELL LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT.  PLEASE CALL TODAY.



To determine your Representative and find his/her phone number, please go to
http://www.stemcellfunding.org/fastaction/listrep.asp.



Following is a copy of the letter and additional information

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500


We are writing to express our strong support for federal funding of
embryonic stem cell research. The surprising news reports last week on
private embryonic stem cell research underscore the importance of continued
federal oversight and involvement in this sensitive and important area.

The reports last week that a Virginia laboratory has created human embryos
to obtain stem cells for research purposes and a Massachusetts firm aims to
create embryos using cloning techniques to derive stem cells for therapeutic
purposes, make plain that this research, replete with moral, ethical, and
scientific issues is occurring in the private sector even as the federal
government debates the issues.

The only way to ensure that embryonic stem cell research is conducted with
strict ethical and legal guidelines is to provide federal funding and
oversight. By taking this leading role, the federal government will
participate in the vital debate that occurs concerning any new
biotechnology, including the creation of human embryos for research
purposes. We believe that these issues should not be left to the private
sector to dictate alone.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines provide meaningful
oversight protections by addressing such issues as informed consent, the
source of cells and measures to ensure safety and the ethical use of
embryonic stem cells.

We understand that you are exploring various so-called compromises,
including allowing federal funds for research only on existing cell lines.
While we understand how that might appear to be an appealing alternative,
scientists report have produced very few cell lines at this time. If this
decision were made it would prove problematic because each cell line has a
different potential for offering different therapies. Scientists have yet to
discover and understand the full range of available cell lines, let alone
their prospective medical benefits. Halting research before fully
understanding these issues will thwart further development.

Mr. President, you have read and heard from the scientists that research on
embryonic stem cells could result in treatments or cures for millions of
Americans suffering a variety of illnesses including diabetes, Parkinson's
disease, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.  We urge you to take our views into
consideration when you make this incredibly important decision. You have the
lives of millions of our-and your-constituents in your hands.

Sincerely,
CONGRESSMAN
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