Regulation and Policy Update: SOT Supports the Use of Human Fetal Tissue for Research and the Transport of Research Animals on Commercial Airlines

By Myrtle Davis posted 07-22-2021 15:04


SOT Supports the Continued Use of Human Fetal Tissue for Research

An International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)–led coalition of more than 100 scientific, medical, and patient organizations and communities of which SOT is a member released a “Statement in Support of Research Using Human Fetal Tissue” on June 21, 2021 (note: the statement was updated on June 28, 2021, with additional signatories). The statement expresses support for “the continued use of human fetal tissue (HFT) in research because it is an indispensable biomedical research tool crucial for life-saving biomedical research.” The statement also explains how crucial HFT has been to vaccine development, as well as treatments for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cystic fibrosis and the ongoing search for therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease.

SOT Asks US Department of Transportation to Resolve Issue of Airlines Refusing to Transport Animals for Research

On June 25, 2021, the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) delivered a letter on behalf of itself, SOT, and 88 other organizations and companies to Robert C. Hampshire, PhD, the Chief Science Officer for the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The letter commends the appointment of a Chief Science Officer for the DOT and encourages Dr. Hampshire to “review the 2018 docket complaint (Docket No. DOT-OST-2018-0124, NABR v. United Airlines et al) regarding the refusal of certain airlines to transport animals for research purposes. This unresolved complaint continues to jeopardize essential biomedical research by inhibiting access to the appropriate animal models necessary for addressing the nation’s pressing scientific and public health questions.” The DOT has acknowledged receipt of the letter and is reviewing it.

SOT Urges US House to Lead with Science during Appropriation Decisions

SOT co-signed a letter sent on July 14, 2021, to the US House Committee on Appropriations leadership urging Congress to “lead with science” when making decisions regarding federally funded research and federal science agencies. The letter, drafted by the American Society for Microbiology and signed by 30+ organizations, is in response to concerns that federal research and science may be affected by “premature conclusions about how the [COVID-19] pandemic emerged.”