Sunday, December 18, 2005

Korean News Fuels Fire Against CIRM

As the negative news about stem cell research rolled in from across the Pacific, the Los Angeles Daily News (circulation 195,000) carried a hostile article about the California stem cell agency written by one of the minions of a "free market think tank" in Sacramento.

The opinion piece was authored by K. Lloyd Billingsley, editorial director of the Pacific Research Institute, which calls itself a "free market think tank." The facts of the piece are all familiar to followers of the agency.

However, he quoted Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute, another similar organization, as arguing:

"Voters might be disposed to undoing Prop. 71" when they believe in alternatives "and when the problems of Prop. 71 permeate the public consciousness. One year after the vote, that is beginning to happen."

The views of such folks as Billingsley and Smith find fertile ground when the stem cell turf is disturbed by the Korean uproar. Two months ago such views would have had much less impact than they do now. Beyond that, the references to the voters disposition makes it clear that the opponents of Prop. 71 are looking at a ballot measure involving the agency. That means CIRM and its friends should be rallying anybody who could be considered their allies. The best bet for the agency is to keep a measure off the ballot, whether it is SCA13 or an initiative backed by well-financed fundamentalist forces. Sphere: Related Content

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