China’s Black Market Stem Cells
In January, the Chinese Ministry of Health once again attempted to regulate the unapproved stem-cell tourism business in China, announcing rules such as required registration for organizations using stem cells in the clinic and a halt to any unapproved stem cell treatments. But not a single clinic has registered, and business is still booming, according to an investigation by Nature.
The clinics, which operate openly, offer expensive and unapproved stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and autism, among other disorders, and attract thousands of medical tourists from around the world. The Chinese health ministry has made several attempts to ban the treatments, including classifying stem-cell treatments as “high risk” and requiring the approval of a technical audit board, but to no avail.