BIO Statement on Korean Scientist Hwang Woo-suk

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2006) -- Jim Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement on the discredited research of Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk:

“While the news of the falsification of Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk’s data is disheartening, we must keep in mind that he is only one researcher out of thousands across the world seeking to better understand the cause and treatment of the diseases which plague mankind.

“Public support for stem cell research continues to be strong in the U.S. Ideally, American scientists would have the ability and the resources to conduct embryonic stem cell research under the guidance of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As long as current federal policy severely limits funding opportunities for this research in the U.S., the research will continue to be done overseas in less regulated environments with less oversight than could be put in place in the U.S.

“Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, by a wide bipartisan margin. This legislation would increase the number of stem cell lines eligible for federal funding while creating a framework to ensure that this research is performed ethically. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill and the President to sign it into law so that U.S. scientists will have the resources and guidance to carry on this critical research.

“Patients cannot afford to wait.”

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.