Wednesday, July 26, 2006

2694 The stem cell veto

There was a cartoon in the international ed. of the NYT last week that showed a distinctly Simian, slumping President Bush vetoing stem cell research with a reference to the flat earth society. If Bush's veto will make no difference in stem cell research (except to those of us with "narrow religious views" who believe it is immoral to create life for the purpose of destroying it to benefit someone else), where's the beef? There is plenty of private money for this, and no one has yet found any cure for any disease using the cell lines created before 2001 which are available. The media are creating yet another victim class--all the people who haven't yet benefitted from research that hasn't yet produced any cures!

Also, according to New Atlantis, the U.S. isn't falling behind in stem cell research. "Far from showing the United States lagging behind in the field, they found that American scientists had by far the most publications—46 percent of the total, while the other 54 percent were divided among scientists from 17 other countries. They also found that the number of papers in the field published by Americans has increased each year, with a particularly notable growth spurt beginning in 2002. . . [the study showed] more than 85 percent of all the published embryonic stem cell research in the world has used the lines approved for funding under the Bush policy. Since this is almost twice the number of papers published by Americans, it is clear that a great deal of the work done abroad has also involved these lines, even though most of it could not have been funded by the NIH. The lines are used, in other words, because they are useful, not only because they are eligible for federal support."

The media--NYT, CNN, WaPo and their sibs and blogs--flog this story that the U.S. is falling behind, but like a lot of the other anti-Bush stories published by them, it's a lie.

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