Canadian Diabetes Association Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research

By John-Henry Westen

  TORONTO, August 23, 2007 ( - An official response from the Canadian Diabetes Association indicates the funding organization is in complete support of using human embryos in destructive research.

  The Canadian Diabetes Association is the country’s foremost organization disseminating information to Canadians on the disease. Its mission is to "promote the health of Canadians through diabetes research, education, service and advocacy." The Association distributes government funding to researchers.

  A reply to a query by elicited an emailed response from "Susan" at the Canadian Diabetes Association Contact Centre who said that the Association "does not currently fund embryonic stem cell research" as of  2004-5.

"All stem cell work funded by the Association is with cells derived from non-embryonic tissues." Susan specified the promise shown by transplant research using pancreatic islet cells as an example of adult stem cell research in diabetes. This treatment involves, however, replacing a patient’s islet cells with differentiated donor cells, not stem cells.

  Susan went on to write that while the Association "recognizes the need to be respectful of the varying perspectives held by the Canadian public on this sensitive issue," it supports the "Canadian government’s direction" on the use of embryos in research.

  Canadian legislation, passed in 2004, was vigorously opposed by pro-life groups, ethics experts and numerous researchers because it allowed the use of live human beings at the embryonic stage for experimental research, which ended their lives, as well as failing to effectively prohibit human cloning for research.

  Susan writes that the Diabetes Association will follow the guidelines laid out by the legislation. "Any future embryonic or stem cell related research applications to the Association will be required to meet the requirements of the Act Respecting Assisted Human Reproduction and Related Research."

  To contact the Canadian Diabetes Association with concerns:
  Canadian Diabetes Association
  1400-522 University AVE
  Toronto ON  M5G 2R5
  416 363-3373

  See’s list of Canadian Charities that support embryonic stem cell research:

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