Barbara Lee Supports Expanded Stem Cell Research

Cites Disproportionate Impact of Diabetes on Minorities

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee offered the following statement in support of H.R. 810,the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, a bi-partisan bill to expand the number of embryonic stem cell lines for research:

“As an original co-sponsor of H.R. 810, I support the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.

“I want to applaud my colleagues Rep. Castle and Rep. DeGette for working together to introduce this common sense bi-partisan measure.

“We know that our population is aging. Debilitating chronic diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes are becoming far more common.

“Diabetes in particular is a huge problem, and like many other diseases, minority communities are disproportionately affected by it.

“In my district in Alameda County, approximately 13.4% of African Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes compared to 4.5% of Whites. And the diabetes death rates of Latino’s and African Americans are as high as 2 - 2.5 times those of Whites.

“Expanding the number of embryonic stem cell lines available for research will assist scientists to develop therapeutic treatments and cures for diabetes and a range of other diseases.

“By passing this bill we will not only help to improve the health and well being of the public, but we will also help to eliminate future chronic health care costs and improve the health of our economy as a whole.

“I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”