Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Octuplets case prompts calls for fertility regulations

March 4, 2009 |  1:55 pm

Suleman The public interest group Center for Genetics and Society is calling on Congress to hold hearings on oversight of the largely unregulated $3-billion fertility industry.

Spurred by the octuplets controversy that resulted after a Beverly Hills fertility doctor transferred at least six embryos into 33-year-old Nadya Suleman, and by advertisements for "designer babies," the group said the United States needed to establish regulations similar to what exists in other industrialized countries.

"For too long, America has had an unfortunate reputation as the 'Wild West' of the fertility industry -- and that image has been reinforced by recent controversies," said Marcy Darnovsky, the center's associate executive director. "Federal regulation and oversight are needed, and Congress should take the first step by holding hearings."

The group said it also was concerned, as states begin to introduce new legislation in response to the controversies, that it not become a "cumbersome patchwork" of laws. Already, California, Georgia and Missouri have introduced legislation to regulate fertility clinics.

The Fertility Institute, based in Los Angeles, has caused a recent stir by advertising gender, hair and color selection in babies. On Monday, the institute announced that it would suspend its program to select eye and hair color.

"Though well intended, we remain sensitive to public perception and feel that any benefit the diagnostic studies may offer are far outweighed by the apparent negative societal impacts involved," the clinic's website states.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Photo: NBC

Previously on L.A. Now

Whittier police and Suleman: before and after she added 8

Octuplets story is a huge draw for website for moms by moms

Man wants DNA test to see if he is octuplets' father

Father of octuplets' mother calls her "absolutely irresponsible"

Octuplets' mother gets a giant babysitting offer

House where octuplets' mom lives is in danger of foreclosure

Octuplets' mom identifies her fertility clinic in Beverly Hills

Octuplets story takes surreal turns, including You Tube video