In our March feature story,
Popular Science: Is it true that ART isn't regulated?
Kathy Hudson: If ART is a big sphere, there are points on that sphere that the existing regulatory system touches, but that sphere isn't enveloped by a coherent whole regulatory framework. It's easy to say, oh, ART is unregulated, it's the wild wild west out there, and that is (a) not true, and (b) it's a really bad starting point if you want to have a productive dialogue. I've been involved in I-can't-tell-you-how-many discussions where the first thing out of somebody's mouth is "You guys are cowboys!" Then you can just see the reproductive practitioners just getting ready to explode as their blood pressure levels rise.
PS: So how is ART regulated?
KH: Well, there are a couple regulatory mechanisms that affect ART. In the beginning, you've got an infertile woman and you inject drugs into her to increase ovulation. Those drugs are all regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
PS: Are those drugs safe?
KH: Scientifically there are some unanswered questions about the long term consequences those drugs might have on women. There are questions about whether they lead to the production of unhealthy eggs, and whether they pose a cancer risk to the mother. That's an area that we'd the Center hopes to examine.