Writing today on the group's blog, Biopolitical Times, Jesse Reynolds,
project director on biotechnology accountability for the Oakland-based group, began by saying the process "was not without significant shortcomings."
Then he said it was "deeply flawed" and "embarrassing."
Flawed because, he wrote:
"The members of the grant review panel are still not required to publicly disclose their personal financial interests, leaving the door open for conflicts of interest. (The agency, however, did take the step of indicating which members of the review panel were recused from which application review.) This panel is supposedly advisory, because the program's governing board, the ICOC, is required to give final approval of the grants. But in fact, the ICOC voted on many of them in blocks and did little more than demarcate a funding line in the ordered rankings of the 'advisory' review board. This makes the grant review panel a de facto decision-making body, which by California law must disclose personal financial interests."
"Finally, during the most high-profile meeting of the ICOC since the inception of the stem cell research program, the board struggled to maintain a quorum. It was not met at all on the first day of the two-day meeting, during which grants were approved by 'provisional votes.' These were confirmed en masse the next day, when there was barely a quorum. This is embarrassing. The ICOC needs to adopt attendance standards."Sphere: Related Content