moved for leave to introduce Bill C-630, an Act respecting the collection of cord blood in Canada.
Mr. Speaker, the bill calls on the Minister of Health to convene a national conference with the provincial and territorial health ministers to determine the most effective strategy for establishing, administering and funding a national cord blood bank.
Blood that is found in the umbilical cord of a newborn infant is composed of stem cells which can be collected safely, ethically and without controversy. These stem cells have been used for over 20 years in the treatment of many conditions and diseases, including anemia, leukemia and sickle cell disease, and at an experimental level for the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and vascular disorders.
Canadians would benefit from a national bank. The provinces and territories of Canada have determined there is a need for a national collection, which would be subject to our own safety standards and would increase the probability of a match inside our country.
I hope all hon. members will join me in supporting the bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)