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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.



Influential Scientific Journal Rips Effort to Loosen Stem Cell Research Rulesby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJuly 5th, 2016Proposed treatments have not received FDA approval due to inefficacy and safety concerns.
Center for Genetics and Society Letter in Opposition to California AB 2531The Center for Genetics and Society urges the California Senate to oppose a proposed bill that would expand payments to women to provide their eggs for research.
Updates: The California Legislature and the Market in Human Eggsby Marcy Darnovsky Biopolitical TimesJune 30th, 2016The fertility industry-sponsored bill is opposed by a range of women’s health, reproductive justice, and public interest organizations.
Good riddance to a repugnant California cap on family aidby The Times Editorial BoardThe Los Angeles TimesJune 16th, 2016The “maximum family grant” discouraged women on welfare from having more children.
California stem-cell institute’s political gambleby Paul KnoepflerSan Francisco ChronicleJune 16th, 2016Why is the state agency lobbying for a radical departure in how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration vets experimental stem-cell therapies?
California's StemCells, Inc., Flatlines; A Look at the Implicationsby David JensenCalifornia Stem Cell ReportJune 1st, 2016The company's sudden shutdown surprised and shocked some, but it also demonstrated the level of risk in stem cell research.
Dwarfism, Chemical Limb Lengthening, and Informed Consentby Joseph StramondoInternational Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics BlogApril 25th, 2016A California biotech company is testing a drug designed to "normalize" annual growth but not address health complications of dwarfism.
Stem cell agency okays $150 million ‘powerhouse’by David JensenCapitol WeeklyApril 8th, 2016The agency approved financing terms for a proposed public-private company that it hopes will accelerate the creation of stem cell therapies.
Will California Expand the Market for Women’s Eggs?by Marcy DarnovskyApril 7th, 2016A bill sponsored by the fertility industry seeks yet again to overturn existing policies that allow reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for women who provide eggs for research, but not inducements of thousands of dollars beyond that.
Center for Genetics and Society Letter in Opposition to California AB 2531March 30th, 2016The Center for Genetics and Society urges the California Assembly Committee on Health to oppose a proposed bill that would expand payments to women to provide their eggs for research.
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