Food and Drug Administration

California moves against unlicensed stem cell treatments — but is it doing enough?

On Oct. 2, California took a major step to address an emerging public health crisis. That’s the day Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law imposing the first regulations in the country aimed at direct-to-consumer marketing of unlicensed, unproven — and sometimes disproven — stem cell “treatments.”

These treatment clinics have metastasized nationwide; roughly 600 were identified last year by UC Davis cell biologist Paul Knoepfler and University of Minnesota bioethicist Leigh Turner. As befits a place that always has been fertile ground for entrepreneurs, scrupulous or otherwise, California hosted...

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