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White House clamps down on use of foetal tissue

Image: UCSF

Researchers at the United States National Institutes of Health can no longer work with foetal tissue, and federal funding for such work will be subject to additional ethical review, the Department for Health and Human Services has said.

The decision follows a departmental review into the “regulatory, moral and ethical considerations” of using tissue from aborted pregnancies. “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of president Trump’s administration,” the health department said on 5 June.

The Trump administration is allowing to lapse a 30-year federal contract with the University of California, San Francisco, for work using foetal tissue to try to develop a cure for HIV. UCSF head Sam Hawgood (pictured) said in a statement that the decision was “politically motivated, shortsighted and not based on sound science”.

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