WASHINGTON, February 9, 2005 ( – US Congressman Chris Smith (R- N.J.), along with 18 co-sponsors, cord blood specialists and recipients, urged passage of the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act of 2005 at a press conference Tuesday.

The sponsors seek to create a national cord blood bank – a national infrastructure for cord blood stem cell collection and research that could, in time, save the lives of thousands of gravely ill Americans. The success of these adult stem cells trumps any need for recourse to morally objectionable embryonic stem cells.

Smith – a leader of health initiatives in Congress – said, “The Legislation will make available the miracle of stem cells derived from medical waste to thousands of patients who otherwise have no hope to recover from lethal diseases.”

The bill would establish an inventory of 150,000 cord blood stem cell units that reflect the diversity of the United States and enable at least 90% of Americans to receive an appropriately matched cord blood stem cell transplant. The inventory would provide a critical resource for those in need of transplants and allocate a certain proportion of units to sustain further research on cord blood stem cells.

For more information, visit the National Cord Blood Program's informational website.