Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More Michigan Stem Cell Insanity [Serge]

One of the reasons my blogging has been a bit sporadic is that I am preparing a talk regarding embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Our Michigan Representative John Moolenaar has invited me to speak regarding this issue at a forum in Oscoda, Michigan next week. During my research, I often run across things like this published in the Detroit News that drive me nuts.

This is an article by A. Taubman regarding stem cell research in Michigan. Those outside of Michigan may not have heard the name, but Taubman is a wealthy real estate developer responsible for many malls in Michigan and across the country. Here is a quote:

My friends in the medical community (at 83, I'm one of their best customers) tell me that it's becoming increasingly difficult to recruit young chemists and medical researchers to our universities.

According to his opinion piece, he is credible on this topic because 1) he sees a lot of doctors because he is old, 2) his doctors tell him of the difficulties of recruiting scientists in this state (I'm sure they mention this right after the old prostate exam). Taubman then goes right for the big lie:

Why? In part, because embryonic stem cell research is essentially illegal in Michigan. Our researchers are permitted to work with stem cells from the tissue of adults, children, umbilical cords and developing fetuses. But the vast majority of scientists agree that stem cells from embryos, with the ability to reproduce themselves into any one of hundreds of cells found in the human body, hold the greatest promise.
Essentially illegal? That would be surprising considering that the University of Michigan has an Center for Hes Research. In fact, embryonic stem cell research is legal and ongoing in this state, as long as human embryos are not destroyed. It is unfortunate for Mr. Taubman to tell this falsehood, but it unconscionable for the editors of the Detroit News to allow this to be published. Taubman continues:

The amazing medical breakthroughs made possible by embryonic stem cell research -- with the potential to improve the quality and length of our lives -- will happen somewhere else if Michigan continues to opt out.
What amazing medical breakthroughs? As of this date, there have zero clinical trials on human beings from ESCR, let alone any "breakthroughs".

I could go on but I've had enough. This is the state of the debate regarding this issue today. If their case is so strong, why the need to tell falsehoods?

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