Dear Senator Shafer:
Thank you for introducing this most important piece of legislation. Senate Bill 148, aptly titled the Saving the Cure Act, is as much good science as it is good law. The medical/research community has known for decades the potential of postnatal fluid/tissue and of amniotic fluid derived stem cells. Only recently has it developed the techniques to tap that perhaps limitless potential. Progress has been slowed however by confused and often less scientifically defensible attempts to harvest these same types of cells by creating life only to destroy it. Your Bill to create/encourage the development of Banks for this postnatal material, if enacted into law, will stimulate the necessary research to multiply the already existing successes of this life-maintaining stem cell research and bring the remaining promise to fruition.
Public cord blood banking is supported by Policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics and supported in principle by the American College of Pediatricians (where I serve as President). Your Bill would move these expressions of support into real world practice in a publicly, financially, and scientifically defensible way. Any attempt to dilute its clear intent to use readily available and non controversial postnatal materials, and/or add provisions which would encourage the unnecessary destruction of life, would be medically inefficient, irrationally unscientific, and therefore indefensible.
I offer my continued support for this medically important legislation, not only for Georgia but also as a model for other States, and therefore look forward to passage of Senate Bill 148.
Joseph Zanga, MD, FAAP, FCP
President, American College of Pediatricians
Professor of Pediatrics
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina