“After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved. Finally, HHS is continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”
“We were shocked and dismayed at the news report that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed a contract to purchase ‘fresh’ aborted fetal organs from Advanced Bioscience Resources, for the purpose of creating humanized mice with human immune systems. We expect far better of our federal agencies – especially under the leadership of a courageous pro-life president – entrusted with the health of American citizens. It is completely unacceptable to discover that the FDA is using federal tax dollars and fomenting demand for human body parts taken from babies who are aborted. …The federal government must find ethical alternatives as soon as possible, and should end all association with those who participate in any trafficking or procurement of aborted baby organs. No taxpayer dollars should continue to go to this gruesome practice.”
“The objective is to acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice,” said a June 13 FDA “presolicitation notice” for the contract.
The contractor, the notice said, would “provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by FDA.
“Fresh human tissues are required,” said the notice, “for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”
According to GSA’s federal contract database, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, was awarded this $15,900 contract, which will run through July 25, 2019.
“Fetal tissue used in research is obtained from elective abortions,” says the Congressional Research Service.
Because it would not be able to create its “humanized mice” without fresh tissue taken from aborted babies, the FDA also has an interest in the continuation of legalized abortions at a stage in fetal development when the tissue needed to create these mice can be retrieved from the aborted baby.
While the FDA confirmed to CNSNews.com that its June 13 presolicitation notice for a contract to “acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice” and the July 25 contract it signed with ABR (as reported on the GSA contract database) refer to the same deal, the FDA declined to answer 17 other questions CNSNews.com asked it about that contract and the aborted baby parts it requires the contractor to provide. (See the full set of questions CNSNews.com sent to the FDA by clicking here.)
Instead the FDA provided CNSNews.com with a three-paragraph statement. (See the FDA’s full statement by clicking here.)
In its statement to CNSNews.com, the FDA stressed that it was committed to making certain its research followed “all legal requirements” and met “the highest ethical standards.”
Research has previously taken place at the University of Rochester where mice were injected with glial cells from human fetuses. Glial cells are cells that support neurons in the nervous systems. The mice incorporated these glial cells into their brain and “outperformed normal mice almost fourfold in a variety of cognition tests.”
The researchers stressed that the mice still had mouse brains, saying “This does not provide the animals with additional capabilities that could in any way be ascribed or perceived as specifically human. Rather, the human cells are simply improving the efficiency of the mouse’s own neural networks. It’s still a mouse.”
But the mixing of human brain cells with those of other species, especially those of other primates, raise serious ethical considerations. The paper in Journal of Neuroscience clearly states that the glial cells came from second trimester abortions.
There is plenty of research that is being performed with aborted fetuses. In this case, scientists hope that this model model will help illuminate the contribution of glial cells to human neurological disorders. It is a noble goal, but the source of the glial cells morally taints all their research. They could have used cells from ethical sources like a natural miscarriage, but they did not.