Rep. Meadows Chairs Hearing Urging HHS to Explore Alternatives to Fetal Tissue Research

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Washington, December 14, 2018 | Ben Williamson (202-225-6401) | comments

Rep. Meadows Chairs Hearing Urging HHS to Explore Alternatives to Fetal Tissue Research

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, December 13, 2018, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) led a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to explore alternatives to the use of fetal tissue research. The hearing occurred jointly between Rep. Meadows’ Subcommittee on Government Operations and Rep. Jim Jordan’s Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules.

U.S. scientists have utilized cells from fetal tissue for research since the 1920’s. This year alone, the National Institute of Health (NIH) provided over $100 million in funding for research grants, many of which funded projects involving the use of fetal tissue. After the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) canceled a contract with a fetal tissue procurement company in September, however, the agency began internal audits and reviews to examine “whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research.”

The purpose of Thursday’s hearing was to evaluate the merits of fetal tissue research and alternatives available, as well as to receive an update from administration officials on their progress in expanding efforts to find and implement alternatives not involving fetal tissue.

Rep. Meadows released the following statement on the hearing:

“The use of fetal tissue in medical research carries significant ethical concerns. In our governmental healthcare research and technology sectors, we have an obligation to make every effort to pursue alternative methods of research. Government agencies should make use of sound science, new technology, and available resources to find other methods for researching and developing medical technologies for treatments – methods that honor the sanctity of life. I’m pleased we were able to hold this hearing to get an update on the implementation of new processes and procedures in the future. I look forward to working with this administration moving forward and hope we can make progress toward sound, effective alternatives.”

To watch Rep. Meadows opening statement, click here.

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