Congress Funds Tobacco-Cancer Study
WASHINGTON (AP) - Can tobacco cure cancer?
Legislation passed recently by Congress devotes $3 million to investigate.
The money, part of a $7.1 billion package of aid to farmers, will go toward research on the use of tobacco plants to cultivate a vaccine against cervical cancer.
The $3 million will be shared by North Carolina State University and Georgetown University in Washington.
Dr. Ken Dretchen, dean of research at Georgetown University Medical Center, said the goal is to take genetic material from the human papiloma virus and incorporate it into tobacco seeds. ``When the plant grows the fragments multiply,'' he said, and can be harvested to make a vaccine that researchers hope can attack cervical cancer.
Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., who faces a potentially difficult race for re-election, claimed credit for the research money in a news release.
``This funding could represent a brighter future for North Carolina tobacco farmers and potentially a giant leap forward for women's health around the world,'' he said in a written statement.
His office said Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who was one of the lawmakers involved in allocating the $7.1 billion in farm money, pushed for funding the research.