Comments: "Kaiser: Moderate Republicans Support Bill for Increased Federal Funding of HESCR"

Irving News Comments
Copyright November 16, 2004
Reproduced with Permission

Big BioTech has now deceptively and successfully engineered the term "stem cell research" to include stem cells derived from CLONED human embryos without the public realizing it -- hence the "increased public support". One likely "total cloning ban" to be proffered by the "conservatives" in Congress in response to those discussed in the article below is the Stearns bill (Republican, Florida).

Like Prop. 71, the 2 California laws on cloning and stem cell research now on the books, the two reports by the National Academy of Sciences chaired by Irving Weissman, the work in "infertility treatments" by Michael West, etc. -- the Stearns bill also erroneously misdefines the immediate product of "nuclear transplantation" (i.e., one of many cloning techniques) as just a "cell" -- only in this case the "cell" is an "oocyte" dividing towards becoming a fetus -- rather than the scientifically accurate term "organism" (a human being). This is scientifically absurd. [See Irving analysis of the Stearns bill at:]. It would seem that such deceptive scientific "pre-embryo substitute" language is something that both the "conservative" and the "moderate" Republicans can agree on -- and a solid basis for reaching across the aisles to the Democrats' various versions of their human cloning bills.

Note too below the extensive efforts to derail the current administration policy on federal funding of "stem cell research" by "moderate" Republican Michael Castle (Delaware). In fact, the University of Delaware recently hosted a conference addressing these issues, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (see their recent Report on "converging technologies co-authored with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce), and the American Philosophical Association, among others. In addition to Rep. Castle, national-level bioethics speakers included Art Caplan, Richard Rorty (Stanford University, CA), and Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, among others. Clearly Delaware is more than enthusiastic about the Big Bucks supposedly coming their way. However, if the proposed bill that Castle mentions below is anything like the "total human cloning ban" recently presented to the Delaware State lawmakers, it will ban nothing. Indeed, it represents a human genetic engineering free-for-all. [For an analysis of that proposed Delaware bill, complete with the identification of at least 57 loopholes (none of which were solved by their "amendment"), see Irving,].

One reason why Kaiser might be interested in all of this is that various kinds of human cloning have been proposed by IVF researchers as "infertility treatments" -- indeed, have already been used. Does Kaiser really understand this? (DNI)
Health Policy As It Happens

Daily Reproductive Health Report

National Politics & Policy | Moderate Republicans Support Bill Authorizing Increased Federal Funding for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
[Nov 17, 2004]

Moderate Republicans plan to support legislation authorizing increased federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the new congressional session, CongressDaily reports. Republican moderates aim to take advantage of "growing public support" for the research in pushing the measure next year, according to CongressDaily. Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.) on Tuesday said he plans to reintroduce in February a bill supporting increased funding for embryonic stem cell research in February, adding that the legislation will be the "number one" goal of the Republican Main Street Partnership in 2005, according to CongressDaily. Castle said he hopes the recent passage of California's Proposition 71 will highlight the national debate over embryonic stem cell research and garner support for increased federal funding among Republicans, according to CongressDaily (Heil, CongressDaily, 11/17). The passage of Proposition 71 -- a ballot measure that will provide $295 million annually for 10 years in part for human embryonic stem cell research in the state -- makes California the first state to publicly fund embryonic stem cell research and is expected to lead to a major recruiting effort and construction boom in the state. President Bush on Aug. 9, 2001, announced a policy limiting federally funded embryonic stem cell research to cell lines created on or before that date (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 11/15). Larry Goldstein, a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, said California's funds cannot replace the need for federal money, adding, "It's only a drop in the bucket relative to what the federal government ought to be doing." However, embryonic stem cell research opponents say that the Bush administration likely will not reverse its stance on federal funding, especially following an election in which "socially conservative" Republicans became a major force, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 11/17).