Sunday, March 23, 2008

CIRM Legislation Hearing Scheduled for Early April

The latest legislation to target the California stem cell agency is set for its first hearing April 2 in Sacramento before the Senate Health Committee.

The bill is aimed at ensuring affordable access to stem cell therapies financed by public funds in California. It would also require a study of the agency with an eye to correcting some of the difficulties it has had with such problems as conflicts of interest.

The lead author on the measure, SB1565, is Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, who is chair of the Health Committee. She is not expected to have difficulty in winning approval of her bill and sending it to the Judiciary Committee.

has not taken a position on the measure, but has opposed similar efforts in the past. Last month, one stem cell activist, Don Reed, opposed the measure, calling it "another distraction, another delay." Reed also said that CIRM is "squeaky clean" although one of its directors. John Reed (no relation to Don Reed), is under investigation by the state for violating CIRM's conflict-of-interest rules. Five other directors also violated conflict policies last year by writing letters on behalf of grant applicants.

Don Reed is vice president for public policy for Americans for Cures Foundation, which is the private, nonprofit stem cell lobbying group run by CIRM Chairman Robert Klein. It was Klein, an attorney, who advised John Reed to lobby CIRM staff on behalf of a grant to his institution. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Anonymous6:29 AM

    With some trepidation I have entered the stem-cell debate.

    I welcome comments from more experienced guides to advise me. (I'm arriving via my own studies in leadership, and some bio-research in another century).

  2. Don Reed's Comment

    David Jensen is quite correct that I am Vice President of Public Policy for Americans for Cures Foundation, the legacy group (formerly the Alliance for Stem Cell Research and Cures) which sprang from the Proposition 71 campaign. I work there on a part-time basis, gathering information on stem cell research, and doing what I can to help advance stem cell support across the country.

    It is important to note, however, that when I speak or write about CIRM matters, I speak for myself alone.

    I am delighted to participate in as many CIRM meetings as I can. (I will have to miss this Friday's meeting, for example, only because I will be going back East to a spinal cord injury science meeting.)

    The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is to me like a mini-Marshall plan, attempting to bring cures to suffering millions, just as America brought hope to blighted countries after World War II.

    To me, it is "squeaky clean"-- because when it makes a mis-step, it catches itself, finds the error, and corrects it. What more could be asked?

    So I will be there at the meetings, participating to the best of my ability.

    But any comments I make, or writings I produce, are purely my responsibility, not that of the Americans for Cures Foundation.

    Thank you,

    Don C. Reed