`Jungle Raj` in stem cell research: Official

Kolkata: A `Jungle Raj` has been prevailing in the country regarding research on stem cell therapy and the government will ensure a proper structure where there is transparency, an official of the union health ministry has said.

"We at ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) fund many projects. In the last two years, 80 percent of them are gaining the experience of how they can be preserved and how they can be transplanted, but very few were on clinical trials. This is Jungle Raj and not the correct way. As a person responsible for research governance, I find it very unacceptable," said union secretary of health research Vishwa Mohan Katoch.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop here on "Stem Cell and Research", Katoch said the government will ensure a proper structure where there is transparency.

"The issue of stem cell being used for different kind of therapy has been in the country for a long time, almost for a decade. This excitement has led to chaos. I don`t doubt the excitement. Handling stem cells or transplants is not like handling injection," said Katoch.

"Cell has lot of potential. So the damages could be far greater than saving something. That means the evidence should be based on critical experiments and trials should be done ethically and then put into practice," he said.

"The guidelines came for the stem cell application in India few years back only. But it was not followed as those guidelines were not backed by any legislation or act which could pin-point the recklessness of the individuals," said Katoch.

"Trials should be done through proper procedures which are well monitored. But in the last one decade it has not happened and that has led to a chaotic situation with people claiming inventions. We don`t know whether it is authentic or not as they were not open to inspection and no records were available," Katoch added.


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