ITALY – Minister Sacconi questioned about the destruction of umbilical cord stem cells in Matera

(Stem Cells News image)

Il ministro
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Statement by Maurizio Bolognetti, Secretary of the Associazione Radicali Lucani (Radical Association of the Lucania Area)

As recently stated, Senators Perduca and Poretti have questioned individuals about the stem cell bank in Matera. After three years, it is necessary to finally shed light on the matter, which has not been clearly explained. The many mothers who have donated umbilical cords have the right to know the truth about how and why an opportunity to potentially treat individuals was lost. EU Parliament member Marco Cappalto expressed his desire for Minister Sacconi to provide clear responses.

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The text of the questioning follows:

Questioning of the Minister for Labour Policy Maurizio Sacconi by Senators Perduca and Poretti

Considering that

On December 31 1996, with regional law number 478, the regional council in Basilicata instituted an umbilical cord stem cell bank at the Matera Hospital.

In 2004, the umbilical cord stem cell bank was transferred to the Microcythemia Center where the bank was put under the direct responsibility of Doctor Carlo Gaudiano at the Transfusion Center at “Madonna delle Grazie” Hospital in Matera.

In the summer of 2006, some donors learned about the destruction (others believe the disappearance) of umbilical cord stem cells. The matter was debated upon for months by the national and local media and in particular by the ‘Quotidiano della Basilicata’ on April 7 2006. Weekly magazine in Matera, Il Resto, Sole 24 Ore, and Corriere della Sera newspapers also covered the story. The matter came to the attention of the Public Prosecutor’s office of Catanzaro.

We hereby ask:

If and in what way the stem cells were lost;

Who exactly and which professionals in general were trained in the removal, handling, and freezing of stem cells;

What and how much equipment was acquired and what was its purpose;

The total cost of the operation after revenue earned.

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