The American Diabetes Association has issued the following statement in response to the passage by the Senate of the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act" (S.5), which will accelerate stem cell research by easing existing funding restrictions and supporting research that uses embryonic stem cells, while maintaining strict ethical guidelines.
Darlene Cain, Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association, made the statement on behalf of the Association.
"The American Diabetes Association applauds the Senate's decision to pass this important legislation. For five long years, our nation's leading respected scientists and researchers have been held back by federal stem cell restrictions that have prevented them from making significant advances toward a cure for diabetes and other chronic debilitating diseases.
"For the millions of patients with type 1 diabetes that rely on insulin to survive, and for the millions more with type 2 diabetes who would benefit from new treatments, the passage today of the 'Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act' brings us one step closer to unlocking the resources that could lead to major discoveries in our fight against this disease.
"As a strong supporter of this legislation, we urge members of the Senate and House to work together to override the veto that President Bush has promised. Only then can we move forward in our fight to cure diabetes."
Diabetes is one of this nation's most prevalent, debilitating, deadly and costly diseases. Nearly 21 million American children and adults live with diabetes, and another 54 million have pre-diabetes. According to the CDC, one in three Americans -- and one in two minorities -- born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime, if current trends continue. Every year, diabetes contributes to over 224,000 deaths.