Trump administration to review foetal tissue research

The United States Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, which funds much of the nation's biomedical research, has launched a ‘comprehensive review’ of human foetal tissue research, to ensure that it’s complying with laws and regulations, writes Meredith Wadman for Science Magazine.

The move comes on the heels of letters to the chiefs of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, from anti-abortion groups and lawmakers decrying a recent FDA contract with a firm that supplies foetal tissue. Foetal tissue research is legal under a 1993 law. “HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving foetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research,” and to ensure adequate oversight “in light of the serious regulatory, moral and ethical considerations involved,” the department said in a statement.

The lion’s share of such research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, which is part of HHS. Ross McKinney, chief scientific officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, DC, called foetal tissue “an important resource for biomedical research”. He added: “Foetal tissue research is already subject to a robust ethical and legal framework and research that continues to meet those standards should be continued.”
Full report on the Science Magazine site