Thursday, December 07, 2006

Proposition 71: a $3 billion jug of snake oil?

Investor's Business Daily of 5 Dec. 06 began a story:

Californians were promised wonder cures if they passed Proposition 71 to fund stem-cell research in 2004. Turns out they have bought a $3 billion jug of snake oil.

The story ended:

Activist complaints about the private sector's focus on adult and umbilical-cord stem cells have driven the state to spend $3 billion on embryonic stem-cell research — something the market won't touch, even though you can find plenty of liberal venture capitalists out there willing to pay for political campaigns with celebrity endorsers.
The only thing this amounts to is a boondoggle for voters — fool's gold the private sector had already panned for and rejected, having found the truth out first.


The californiastemcellreport blog seemed rather dismissive of the article:

The emphasis on the results of adult stem cell research echoes the party line from the foes of ESC research. The newspaper also quotes the LA Times piece earlier this week. That article has been widely cited online around the country by ESC opponents. The business newspaper piece is also surfacing rapidly on anti-ESC web sites.

Although the californiastemcellreport seems to view these articles in the political present (merely fodder for current debates), the report overlooks the more serious issue that California voters were gravely misled at the time of the vote on Proposition 71. Is the message that you can tell voters anything in the heat of a campaign, knowing that newspapers won't investigate the truth?


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Merrill Goozner writes on huffingtonpost:

Stem cell research is promising, and it shouldn't be impeded by a bunch of anti-science right-to-lifers with God and the president on their side. But like any strain of research, the likelihood of a major medical breakthrough coming from stem cells is probably not that much greater than gene therapy, the human genome project, the war on cancer or any of the multi-billion-dollar medical research programs that came before it. A lot of knowledge and a few good things will come out of stem cell research, but will it make those with severed spines stand up and walk? Call me irreligious, but I'm skeptical.

Actually, it's worse. The "human genome project" didn't have the fraud of Hwang Woo-Suk AND it didn't have researchers who couldn't recognize Hwang's fraud.

12:21 PM  

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