Schwarzenegger applauds Obama for repealing Bush's policy on stem cell research
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday applauded President Barack Obama for lifting funding ban on stem cell research, Xinhua reported.
"President Obama's executive order is a huge win for the millions of people who suffer from spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and many other illnesses," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
"Californians were the first in the nation to support and fund embryonic stem cell research and we are big believers in the power of this revolutionary science to not only improve but to save lives."
Because of the federal ban, Californians world-renown research facilities have had to have separate areas for the federally- funded and the non-federally funded programs, causing duplicative efforts, according to the governor.
Earlier on Monday, Obama abolished contentious Bush-era restraints on stem-cell research, declaring that "our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values."
"I applaud President Obama for removing this barrier which allows California to maximize critical research funding so we can continue to lead the world in stem cell research," Schwarzenegger said.
In 2004, Schwarzenegger championed and California voters passed Proposition 71, devoting an unprecedented 3 billion U.S. dollars to stem cell research and creating the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
To date, CIRM has awarded 635 million dollars in research and facility construction grants that is leveraging over 1 billion dollars in private funds, making it the largest source of funding for embryonic and pluripotent stem cell research in the world.
In response to then President Bush's veto of legislation to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in 2006, the governor directed the state to issue a loan of up to 150 million dollars to strengthen California's voter-approved stem cell research efforts that offer the potential for new treatments for debilitating and deadly diseases.