Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired this documentary project?
Eric Merola is passionate about promising scientific innovations and discoveries that have the potential to help others. Sometimes a scientific discovery enters society that is both controversial and directly conflicts with the currently held scientific beliefs and the profit structure of that system within the medical industry (and in the case of fetal stem cells, they conflict with widely held religious beliefs as well). Eric finds this aspect to be an important one and feels an obligation through his investigative journalistic work, as well as his artistic expression as a filmmaker, to help the general public learn about these issues to help them make their own informed decisions.
In short, many people who had seen Eric’s previous work, who claimed to have been successfully treated by using fetal stem cells, had emailed Eric enough to peak his interest. In the summer of 2014, Eric set out to investigate this story: starting with Stem Cell Of America in Tijuana (scroll down for more on them), to the world’s masters and pioneers of this therapy at EmCell in Kiev, Ukraine.
I watched the documentary and I or a loved one would like to seek fetal stem cell therapy, where can I get it?
I have received this therapy myself four times in four years. I am a documentary filmmaker, not a doctor. It would be inappropriate for me to give anyone medical advice. But, I can vouch first-hand for the treatment and how it affected me.
While fetal stem cell research is legal in the United States, it is not approved by the American Food & Drug Administration for clinical use. Not because it failed the regulatory testing, but because there hasn’t been any permission to begin much regulatory testing in the USA.
All of the patients we are documenting for this project sought this therapy by leaving the United States to areas of the world where it is legally allowed to be administered.
Well, not exactly. While Stem Cell of America and Stemedica offer so-called “fetal stem cell therapy” therapy in Tijuana, it is illegal to administer fetal stem cells to humans in Tijuana, Mexico. Stem Cell of America claims to only provide fetal brain and liver cells (emphasis on “claim” there is no proof of what they are using); Stemedica only provides fetal brain and adult bone marrow cells; while EmCell in Kiev, Ukraine (the inventors and pioneers of this therapy) provide the patient with more than a dozen different fetal stem cell types from nearly all organ systems.
The country of Ukraine is the only country in the world where the clinical application of fetal stem cells (administered to humans) is legal.
In my opinion, the only genuine use of the term “fetal stem cell therapy” and “fetal stem cells” can be applied only to EmCell in Kiev, Ukraine.
What is the difference between “Fetal Stem Cells” and the rest?
There is much confusion in the media as well as the scientific community as to what defines a “fetal stem cell”.
Fetal stem cells are not the same as Embryonic or Adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from a 5-day-old embryo after artificial fertilization. Adult stem cells are harvested from adults, and given back to the adult (usually taken from their fat or bone marrow). Fetal Stem Cells are harvested from a 7 to 12 week-old fetus. However, some of the scientific community still considers stem cells harvested from a fetus as “Adult”, creating more confusion.
Many people confuse “Embryonic” stem cells with “Fetal” stem cells, but they aren’t the same type of stem cell. To make matters more confusing, many asian and middle-eastern cultures do not have a vocabulary word for “fetal” which means they define both Embryonic and Fetal as “Embryonic”.
Embryonic stem cells can also be quite dangerous as they as known to cause tumors. However, fetal stem cells have had no recorded cases of anyone getting a tumor from fetal stem cell injections.
Watch the clip explaining this from The God Cells, here.
Rejection is also not an issue with fetal stem cells as HLA expression in them is either absent or minimal, while adult and cord blood stem cells do express histocompatibility antigens, which requires donor-recipient HLA matching or immunosuppression. The potential of autologous stem cells and fetal stem cells are very different, the possibility of clinical changes in autologous (adult) stem cells is low, thus not as effective in degenerative conditions.
Fetal Stem Cells do not express histocompatibility complexes, thus, they’re accepted by the recipient’s body as the recipient’s own cells.
2020 Update/Warning: DO NOT go to: Stem Cell Of America
April 2020 Update: Stem Cell Of America has begun to illegally use a re-edited version of The God Cells to fool unsuspecting prospective patients into believing The God Cells was a documentary exclusively about them. Click here for more information.
As a journalist following this story for 5 years, I have come to the conclusion that, as of 2016, Stem Cell of America has completely exhausted their stock of fetal stem cells they stole from EmCell in the 1990s, and have no way to get more.
They are currently misleading all new prospective patients that EmCell is continuing to supply them with their stem cells. This is false.
What they are currently injecting their unsuspecting customers with today is anyone’s guess.
Feel free to call up this organization and ask to speak to any licensed medical doctor on staff. Ask to meet anyone from the organization in person.
If you seek fetal stem cell therapy, do yourself a favor and go to the pioneers of this innovation: EmCell, in Kiev, Ukraine.
In March, 2020, William Rader, the founder of Stem Cell of America has passed. It remains to be seen if this organization will choose to continue accepting new patients.
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