Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Public Matters, Public Money Topic of "Secret" Agenda

For a look at what one might call the "secret" agenda discussed during last month's closed-door session promoting interstate cooperation on stem cell research, you can find the documents posted on the web site of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

The National Academy of Sciences barred the public from the California meeting. An academy official said the session was private despite the fact that it involved public officials, dealing with public matters and public money.

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the foundation, received the documents before he was ousted by the academy official.

Topics discussed at the Irvine, Ca., session included intellectual property (not a small matter for California taxpayers), reciprocity between states, model legislation and research oversight. All are clearly part of the public agenda on embryonic stem cell research.

Ironically, also on the table was a draft mission statement, calling for the nascent "Interstate Alliance for Stem Cell Research" to promote "efficient and responsible use of public funds." Ironic because private, closed door meetings discussing how to use billions of dollars in taxpayer funds can hardly be called responsible.

For more on this subject, see the "Fails Responsibility" below.

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