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An effort to regulate California stem cell clinics

Stem cell research in what is known as a "PCR strip." (Image: Science Photo, via Shutterstock)

Legislation to help stem the tide of unregulated stem cell clinics in California is still being drafted, but is expected to be introduced by the end of this month.

Art Torres, vice chairman of the California stem cell agency, is working on the measure, which is expected to be authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo.

More than 100 dubious stem cell clinics are estimated to be in business in the Golden State, peddling ostensible stem cell treatments that cost thousands of dollars.  The treatments, however, have no scientific proof of efficacy or safety.

In response to a question, Torres, a former state lawmaker, said that Mullin will introduce legislation that will serve as a placeholder while the legal language is worked out and coordinated with appropriate state agencies.

Torres said in an email, “We will have the language ready by March 1 , 2019, to be amended into the spot (place holder) bill.  April 26 is the last day that a policy bill with fiscal implications must be out of the policy committee and referred to the fiscal committee.”

The clinics and their treatments are a national issue as well involving the Food and Drug Administration, which has been slow to move. California legislation is likely to serve as something of a model for other states.

Editor’s Note: David Jensen is a retired newsman who has followed the affairs of the $3 billion California stem cell agency since 2005 via his blog, the California Stem Cell Report, where this story first appeared. 


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