California’s Imperial Valley sees the potential new rule from the Obama administration as an economic plus to support California’s $3 billion, voter approved, investment in stem cell research.
However, any new rule would not result in creation of additional stem lines for research. That activity is banned by law :
The Dickey-Wicker amendment, first passed in 1995, prohibits the use of federal funds for the creation of human embryos for research purposes or the destruction or injury of human embryos.
But, the new rules could provide the ethical guidelines missing from current policy:
“The current Bush policy harms U.S. interests not just because it severely restricts the use of federal funds for a potentially life-saving new branch of medical science,” he wrote. “It also hurts the nation because, to the extent it allows such research to go forward, it demands almost nothing in the way of ethical constraints.” In other words, Bush’s attempt to claim the moral high ground on a contentious issue stranded the very research he was trying to regulate in murky ethical waters.