FOIA Documents Reveal CDC Produced and Cultivated Human Stem Cell Lines

The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) has obtained documents revealing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cultured 22 distinct human cell lines, including cells apparently extracted from parts of aborted fetuses and babies younger than four weeks.

ICAN attorneys sent the CDC a letter (pdf) on June 25, 2021, requesting documents containing the word HEK.

HEK cells are immortalized cell lines likely obtained from an aborted or aborted fetus.

“Immortalized human cell lines live outside the body in nutrient media that, under ideal conditions, will reproduce forever without death,” Dr. James Thorp, a maternal-fetal medicine expert, told The Epoch Times.

“These different cell lines are used for many experimental purposes, including the development of vaccine technology and genetic modification. The origin of these many human immortal cell lines is impossible to determine with certainty, but likely derived from abortions, miscarriages, fetal deaths, or other human sources derived from a variety of different organ systems,” said Thorp.

Recently, the CDC had to release 281 pages of related documents (pdf).

A 2015 email with the subject “Research using fetal tissue” states in the unredacted portion that “the list below contains all of the cell lines that Jason’s team has cultured”, which includes 22 human cell lines .

It includes human brain endothelium, liver, intestines, foreskin, lungs and other parts of the body.

Another e-mail with the subject “Cell lines for the last two years” shows 47 cell lines, some of which are also human.

“Below are the cell lines we have produced over the past two years,” the CDC researcher’s email read.

The main controversy with stem cell research stems from the harvesting of stem cells from human embryos which are usually engineered in the laboratory.

In 2009, former President Barack Obama lifted a ban that lasted about 8 years on federal funding of most stem cell research.

In an attempt to appease those concerned, Obama said, “We will never undertake this research lightly. We will only support it when it is both scientifically valid and conducted responsibly. We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce, as we can never tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, deeply wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.

The Reverend Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP, professor of biology at Providence College in Rhode Island, wrote in a May 2020 publication titled “Moral Advice on the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Developed with a Human Fetal Cell Line”:

Although it is commonly believed that HEK293 was obtained from an aborted human fetus, I received an email a few months ago from Professor Frank Graham, who created this cell line. He tells me that to his knowledge, the exact origin of the HEK293 fetal cells is unclear. They could be from either a spontaneous miscarriage or an elective abortion.

Thorp, who has seen many complications in pregnant women and fetuses since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, believes that manipulation of human cell lines should not be used for experimental purposes, for moral reasons.

“The potential harm of evil and unethical research can never be outweighed by the potential benefits. We are created by God in his own image inherent in our DNA and any attempt to change that has profound implications for humanity,” Thorp said.

Some Catholic and Eastern Orthodox adherents also view the use of HEK 293 and its derivatives for the production of vaccines and other drugs as an ethical dilemma.

The Epoch Times has contacted the CDC for comment.


Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter who focuses on the New York area.

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