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About California Policies & Human Biotechnology


California has been a pioneer in several aspects of policy on new biotechnologies, most notably with the passage in 2004 of Proposition 71, which established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and authorized to distribute and oversee $3 billion in public funds to support stem cell research and build research facilities over ten years.

The CIRM has been closely watched by other states and countries. It launched two experiments: the first an experiment in biomedical investigation; the second in its politics and policy. Never before has a state so generously funded an emerging scientific field. And never before has a state been faced with regulating and overseeing a field that combines promising medical research with significant social risks.

Before that, the California Advisory Committee on Human Cloning issued a report that led to a state ban on reproductive cloning. In 2003, a state agency blocked the sale of genetically modified fish as pets. In 2006, the state legislature passed a law providing protections for women who may provide eggs for cloning-based stem cell research.



California Launches $50 Million, Fast-Track Stem Cell Driveby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportDecember 11th, 2014The California stem cell agency approved a plan that will radically reshape its efforts to produce a widely available stem cell treatment, a goal it has not yet reached after 10 years of trying.
Mandatory DNA Collection During Arrest is Unconstitutional, Court Saysby Maura DolanThe Los Angeles TimesDecember 3rd, 2014An appeals court decided unanimously that California’s practice of taking DNA from people arrested for felonies - though not necessarily convicted or even charged - violates the state constitution.
Evaluating California’s Stem Cell Experimentby David E. JensenSacramento BeeNovember 15th, 2014CIRM expects to be taking part in 10 early-stage clinical trials this year; however, no California-financed cures or therapies have reached the clinic and none are likely to do so for years.
Silicon Valley Companies Add New Benefit For Women: Egg-Freezing[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Laura SydellNPROctober 17th, 2014The addition of the benefit comes as tech companies face mounting pressure to hire more women, but some warn it may increase pressure those employees feel to put off having kids.
An End to Sterilization Abuses in California Prisonsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 26th, 2014The signing of SB 1135 into California law by Gov. Jerry Brown is an important victory in the fight for the remembrance of our state's eugenic history and its ongoing implications.
Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by Stateby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesSeptember 17th, 2014Surrogacy remains a polarizing and charged issue. There is nothing resembling a national consensus on how to handle it and no federal law, leaving the states free to do as they wish.
San Francisco Lawmakers Could Pass Resolution Against Sex-Selective Abortion Bansby Nina Liss-SchultzRH Reality CheckSeptember 10th, 2014A resolution opposes sex-selective abortion bans on the basis that they perpetuate racial stereotypes that are harmful to women and communities of color.
Stem cell industry's 'huge development' in Bay Areaby Stephanie M. LeeSan Francisco ChronicleAugust 29th, 2014Almost three years after Geron shut down the world's first clinical trial of a therapy using embryonic stem cells, a subsidiary of another Bay Area company is reviving the work.
California Bill Would Let Birth Certificates Reflect Same-Sex Parentsby Mary PapenfussReutersAugust 20th, 2014The bill, which now goes to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, would allow parents to identify themselves as father, mother or parent when a child is born.
California Couple Shares Surrogate Story in Wake of Thailand Controversy by Beth GreenfieldYahoo! HealthAugust 19th, 2014When news broke earlier this month about baby Gammy, many were shocked. But not Keston and Andrea Ott-Dahl, a San Francisco couple who had a similar experience right here in America.
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