Obama is set to revoke the federal ban on funding embryonic stem cell research today. This is hardly news for anyone paying attention to Obama’s agenda but there are a few related items that would certainly be news for anyone getting their information about this matter via the MSM. I’ve been listening to news radio in DC and watching the headlines on the numerous screens around the area and I’ve noticed the MSM deliberately using language that’s very misleading. They say that Obama is lifting the federal ban on stem cell research. Some get a little closer to the truth and say he’s lifting the ban on federal funding on stem cell research. Neither one is accurate enough for the common Joe to make an informed decision on whether this is a good thing or not. Here are the facts:
- There has never been a federal ban on stem cell research – of any kind. At no point in time has this or any previous administration held stem cell research to be a crime. Any research lab anywhere may feel free to perform stem cell research, now and over the past decade. So long as they pony up the funds, they can knock themselves out.
- Federal funding of stem cell research has been banned in the matter of human embryonic stem cells (hEsc) but has never been a problem where adult stem cells have been involved. In short, the only time a federal ban has been a stopping block to stem cell research is when some lab somewhere decided they wanted to pursue hEsc reseach and have the taxpayers foot the bill.
- To date, no workable therapies of any kind have resulted from hEsc research. While adult stem cells have produced usable therapies, hEsc work has resulted in runaway cell growth, the common term for which is “cancer.”
- Large-scale funding of hEsc projects has been largely absent in the private sector. This is because hEsc research does not look like a promising avenue to private sector labs, who must be concerned with producing results that work. The entire reason these research questions hinge on federal funding is because no one in the commercial sector feels the leads will go anywhere.
- Adult stem cells have already been shown able to revert to the plenipoteniary state hEsc’s display which means cells with all of the characteristics these hEsc researchers are looking for are available without harvesting hEsc’s. Such an act would remove the entire issue from the moral spotlight.
All of the above is pertinent information to the argument and damned little of it is being mentioned by the MSM, even today when topic is especially newsworthy. That’s a problem. It would be nice if the MSM would recognize that. It might even save their industry if they would.
(Updated to correct some spelling errors. 11 March 2009.)