Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trial of Hwang Woo-Suk starts Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Relevant to various claims that California's CIRM has adequately addressed ethical and conflict of interest issues in implementing Proposition 71, one notes the following text surrounding the trial of stem cell fraud Hwang Woo-Suk:

Prosecutors called witnesses who testified about how Hwang's team may have skirted proper regulations for grants. One researcher for Hwang's team said even if junior associates noticed any irregularities, they could not question the boss. "I was in a position where I could not disobey what Dr. Hwang said," Yoon Hyun-soo testified.

It needs to emphasized and re-emphasized that there were regulations in place, and various people knew that Hwang Woo-Suk was violating the regulations.

There were no comments from Hwang on entering the court: Hwang did not speak to reporters when he entered the Seoul Central District Court.

Hwang violated a bioethics law that was in place at the time of his research. In his 2005 paper to Science, Hwang explicitly (and falsely) claimed he complied with that law: Prosecutors have said the misuse of state funds carries a jail term of up to 10 years while a violation of the bioethics law can mean up to three years behind bars.

As an aside, the Los Angeles Times still has not discussed Mr. Klein's use of a lobbying group to criticize Senator Ortiz right before the California primary election. Senator Ortiz was critical in getting stem cell work advanced in California, but leaving her behind as road kill is of no moment to the Times.


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