Comments: "Rivals charge Prop. 71 conflict; Stem cell researcher in 'yes' ads could get rich, they contend"

Irving News Comments
Copyright October 20, 2004
Reproduced with Permission

It's not just the massive financial conflicts of interests that should concern California voters (and the rest of us). It is also the fabrication of science and its applications to patients and women. Weissman, the National Academy of Sciences (which had Weissman chair their committees and reports on human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research), and the NIH use false "science" as the basis for their support for "stem cell research". No academically credentialed Ph.D. human embryologist has ever been part of these or related decisions. The accurate human embryology, known for over a hundred years and in concert with the international nomenclature and the Carnegie Stages, documents that the immediate product of human reproduction is a new genetically unique living individual single-cell HUMAN BEING -- a human organism -- who then simply grows bigger and bigger.

Instead, Weissman et al make up their own "science" claiming that the immediate product is "just a cell", and that the 5-7 day blastocyst is "just a ball of loosely connected cells" -- no human ORGANISM there! That is why they claim that what they are doing is "just stem cell research". Weissman and others are also fabricating more "science" by claiming that "nuclear transplantation" is not cloning IF done for research purposes only; it is "just stem cell research" -- thus slipping into their definition of "stem cell research" stem cells derived by means of cloning human beings. California Prop. 71 would thus legalize the cloning of human beings, and the injection of experimental stem cells from human clones into patients for "therapies" and "cures". "Reproductive" cloning is cloning for them only IF the "ball of cells" is implanted and brought to birth -- which means that if the experimental "ball of cells" developing in women in vivo for nine months is not intended for birth then no cloning has taken place! Feminists should worry! If these "scientists" are willing to lie about this basic Biology 101 science, why wouldn't they also lie about any science involving any other issues? Where is professional accountability? [For documentation of Weissman's, the NAS's, and the NIH's mythological "science", see Irving, "Analysis: Stearns' Congressional Human Cloning Fairy Tale 'Ban'; New Age and Transhumanist Legislation for 'Converging Technologies'?" (Sept. 8, 2004), at: For accurate scientific references on "human cells" as distinct from "human organisms", see Irving, "Definitions of a "Human Organism" and a "Cell" (Oct. 3, 2004), at::] -- DNI]

Rivals charge Prop. 71 conflict

Stem cell researcher in 'yes' ads could get rich, they contend.

By Laura Mecoy -- Bee Los Angeles Bureau

Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, October 20, 2004

LOS ANGELES - Stem cell initiative opponents on Tuesday demanded that the Proposition 71 campaign release the financial holdings of its supporters amid new reports that one of the measure's advocates could profit from the $3 billion bond measure. reported that Stanford University professor Irving Weissman, a stem cell researcher featured in the initiative's campaign ads, could become a "very wealthy man" because of stock options he holds in the biotech firm, StemCells Inc.

Weissman was one of the founders of the Palo Alto-based firm investigating the use of stem cells to treat several illnesses and holds stock options from the firm. The stock is trading at about $2 per share. But if the value were to rise to $5.25 a share, the report claims, Weissman's options would be valuable.

Tim Rosales, the opposition campaign's spokesman, said the report raised more questions about potential profits for those supporting Proposition 71 and contributing to it. The "No on Proposition 71" campaign has claimed that venture capitalists, who have contributed nearly 40 percent of the more than $22 million raised so far in support of the measure, could profit. The "Yes on Proposition 71" campaign and some of its top donors have denied the claims.

Weissman declined to comment on the reports, saying through a spokeswoman that he didn't have time before he had to teach a class Tuesday.

Fiona Hutton, a "Yes on Proposition 71" spokeswoman, said she didn't know about Weissman's financial holdings.

She said he is featured in an ad supporting the initiative because he is "one of the most respected international experts on stem cell research" and the chair of the National Academy of Sciences panel on stem cell research.

Roger Salazar, another spokesman, questioned how the campaign could ever get financial disclosures from all of its contributors and supporters.

He also pointed out that the initiative established a process to ensure that those deciding the grants and loans from the program had no financial interest in them.

Proposition 71 would make available about $295 million a year over the next decade for embryonic stem cell research. A panel of scientists, who are not supposed to have any interest in the research, would initially decide which research projects would qualify for grants or loans. Each grant or loan application would then be approved by a 29-member committee representing universities, nonprofit research institutes and disease advocacy groups.

"The opponents are trying to do everything they can to get away from the real message of this initiative that offers hope for cures for real Californians," Salazar said. "We are not interested in playing their games."

About the writer:

The Bee's Laura Mecoy can be reached at (310) 546-5860 or