House Panel Narrowly Passes Embryonic Stem Cell Research

A House committee today approved a bill setting rules for how research can be performed on human embryonic stem cells in North Carolina.

The bill also eliminates funding to encourage research.

The guidelines were approved 45-to-35. The bill would permit research on stem cells left over from in-vitro fertilization that would otherwise be discarded.

A ten million dollar appropriation was removed that would have helped the Health and Wellness Trust Fund distribute grants to nonprofit groups conducting stem cell research.

Guilford Representative Earl Jones says the money was removed because it could take a year for the trust fund to set up guidelines. Jones says embryonic stem cells could offer a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat a variety of diseases.