In the following letter, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation admits to providing $6.3 million to Embryonic Destructive Stem Cell Research in 2008 and only $1.1 million for adult stem cell research which does not destroy human beings. Please do not support this organization.
Thank you for your support for JDRF. JDRF realizes that embryonic stem cell research is a sensitive issue for some, and we appreciate the fact that you took the time to contact us.
JDRF supports a wide range of research aimed at developing cure therapeutics for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.3 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008. In FY2008 the Foundation funded more than 1,000 centers, grants and fellowships in 22 countries.
Those grants reflect a broad spectrum of scientific investigation, including islet transplantation, immune tolerance, beta cell regeneration, immunology, genetics, and complications-related research (including retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy).
One of our areas of research focus is establishing a source of pancreatic islets that could be used in the increasingly successful procedure of islet transplantation. While clinical trials of islet cell transplantation appear to hold great promise, the cells used for these procedures must come from organ donations of deceased individuals. But there are, at present, only 2,000 donated pancreases each year, while there as many at 3 million children and adults with type 1 diabetes. Stem cells — both adult and embryonic — are of significant scientific interest because they have shown an ability to be coaxed into becoming pancreatic islet cells that could, conceivably, be used to replace islets destroyed in people with type 1 diabetes. In FY2008, JDRF provided some $6.3 million for research involving embryonic stem cells.
JDRF supports adult stem cell research as well as embryonic stem cell research. To date, adult stem cells have not shown a greater ability than embryonic stem cells to form islets, and most scientists agree that it will take years of further study to fully determine their therapeutic potential, making it vital that we explore all potential avenues of research. JDRF provided some $1.1 million for adult human stem cell research last year.
JDRF understands that embryonic stem cell research raises important ethical considerations that need to be addressed in a thoughtful manner– considerations on which people may disagree. We believe that appropriate safeguards have been established by the National Institutes of Health and the National Bioethics Advisory Committee so that this important research can be conducted ethically. For example, under these guidelines, embryonic stem cells used in federally funded research could only be obtained from leftover fertilized eggs that are stored in freezers after being donated by those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). If these surplus IVF fertilized eggs are not used therapeutically as embryonic stem cells, they will simply be discarded. JDRF adheres to all these guidelines, and also has its own ethics committee to oversee the guidelines around research it funds.
If you don’t wish to support embryonic stem cell research but wish to still donate to JDRF, it’s possible to make a donation directed away from this area. You can speak with the local JDRF chapter that runs your walk for more details.
Manager, Public Information
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
120 Wall St. 19th Floor
New York, NY 10005