Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Naming Rights: Selling Out to Biotech?

The proposal by the California stem cell agency to sell naming rights to big donors has triggered a bit of concern from a couple of the watchdog groups.

Their objections were reported in a piece by reporter Paul Elias of The Associated Press. He wrote"
"'If they aren't careful, they are going to be seen as selling out to biotech,' said John (M.) Simpson of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights."
Elias continued:
"Jesse Reynolds, a longtime agency critic at the Center for Genetics and Society in Oakland, said even a grants ban wouldn't completely guard against conflicts. He said big donors could still influence how grants are awarded, perhaps pressuring research directed at diseases afflicting family members.

"'The potential for conflicts is there,' Reynolds said.
We should note that the naming proposal was first reported by the California Stem Cell Report – another reason to check into this site regularly.

We should also note that Elias' story carries a correction re the previous assertion by stem cell chairman Robert Klein that he had $50 million in commitments to purchase bond anticipation notes. The correction says that the figure is $45 million and that another $5 million is being negotiated.

The Oversight Committee is scheduled to take up the naming proposal Thursday at its meeting in Los Angeles.

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