As part of her 2006 Kansas gubernatorial re-election campaign, Kathleen Sebelius heavily promoted creating a “stem cell superhighway” between Kansas and Missouri, with the prime mover being the Kansas City-based Stowers Institute.
Such research would include destructive hESCR (human Embryonic Stem Cell Research) although great pains were taken to disguise the truth by always substituting the phrase “early cells” for embryos.
Amidst (false) cries from university scientists that hESCR cures were imminent, Stowers formed “Life-saving Cures” front groups in both states to misinform the public and to funnel plenty of money to lobbyists and politicians.
Stowers has kept several hESCR projects on the payroll,including Harvard’s George Daley, who has recently become more enchanted with non-destructive techniques of “re-programming” non-embryonic cells.
Missouri law requires any hESCR projects be registered with the state and notably, this year’s June 30 deadline passed without any discoverable report from Stowers. (UPDATE Aug.12: report of continuing hESC by Stowers found.) It would be commendable if Stowers would abandon all destructive hESC projects and follow the productive, ethical path.
The fight over enacting state bans on hESCR and cloning have too often been characterized as between narrow-minded Christians and unbiased scientists. But as Family Research Council fellow, Dr. David Prentice, wrote today,
“scientists can be every bit as political and partisan as the politicians… like Climategate, the public policy debate over hESCR has shown that scientists are not always disinterested parties.”
Writes Prentice, “In July, 2003, the New England Journal of Medicine announced it would give preferential treatment to publishing papers that shed a favorable light on hESCR to boost the controversial field’s standing among politicians and the public.”
Prentice goes on to debunk the continued hype over the embryonic potential and the disregard of treatments from non-embryonic therapies, “in an open society, determining public policy on science requires hearing from many voices,… Just as war is too important to leave to the generals, setting public policy on science is too important to leave to the scientists.” Read the Prentice article here.
In late June, a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit pro-life groups have filed against the Obama administration for forcing taxpayers to finance hESCR. See related KFL post here. UPDATE, Aug. 23: Lawsuit produces injunction vs Obama funding.