Wednesday, October 04, 2006

CGS on the CIRM Plan

We queried the Center for Genetics and Society of Oakland, Ca., on their thoughts on CIRM's proposed strategic plan.

Here are the verbatim comments of Jesse Reynolds, project director, biotechnology accountability:

"First, the draft's assessment of the potential of embryonic stem cell
research is refreshingly honest. It cites as a ten year goal having a
single potential treatment at the proof of principle stage, and
describes the much-touted personalized stem cell lines as impractical.
This is in line with what most scientists will say, but is in sharp
contrast to the campaign language of Proposition 71. Voters would have
been better informed by this balanced assessment.

"Second, inadequate attention is given to the ethical, legal, and social
implications of CIRM's work. The human genome project set aside 3% of it
budget to this area. CIRM is overlooking a critical area by allocating
less than one percent to examining these implications.

"Finally, I am surprised at the small among of funds that is intended for
research into alternative sources of potent stem cells. If research in
this area leads to cell lines without destroying embryos or requiring
eggs, it would open up access to federal funds - worth hundreds of
millions of dollars. This seems to be a wise investment." Sphere: Related Content

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