Sanders’s voting record hasn’t been favorable to medical research

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Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were on opposing sides of certain types of biomedical research while they served in Congress, differences that have gained notice by scientists and advocates on the forefront of stem cell research.

Clinton has pointed to her advocacy for groundbreaking medical research, from her push for more dollars as a New York senator for the National Institutes of Health to her long support for stem cell research that could eventually lead to regenerative medicine.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, has supported stem cell research in the Senate. But advocates within the scientific community cite his voting record in the early 2000s in the House when he repeatedly supported a ban on all forms of human cloning, including one called therapeutic cloning intended to create customized cells to treat disease.

“We were looking for signs that he is going to be a supporter of what science and technology can do and I think everyone in the country ought to be worried about that,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, the Nobel Prize-winning former NIH director under President Bill Clinton.

While serving in the House, Sanders voted to ban therapeutic cloning in 2001, 2003 and 2005 as Congress grappled with the ethics of biotechnology and scientific advances. Patient advocacy groups note that Sanders co-sponsored bans in 2003 and 2005 that included criminal penalties for conducting the research and opposed alternatives that would have allowed the cloning of embryos solely for medical research.

Read full, original post: Clinton, Sanders had opposing views on biomedical research

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