Friday, July 09, 2010

SF Lawyer Urges Openness at Stem Cell Agency

Writing in connection with an incident in which two persons were barred from a CIRM meeting, a San Francisco attorney this week called on the California stem cell agency “to return to its commitment to an open and public process.”

Justine Durrell, who is involved in issues dealing with biotech and women's health, made the comment in a three-page letter to the 29 members of the board of directors of the $3 billion research effort. Her letter referred to the item last month in the California Stem Cell Report describing the incident at a San Francisco hotel.

Durrell raised a series of question in connection with the meeting and its implications for procurement of human eggs. Among them were the absence of public notification about the meetings, the justification for exclusion of the public and CIRM's lack of funding for research into the health consequences on women who provide eggs for research.

She wrote,
“Additionally, I emphasize the importance of CIRM's return to its commitment to an open and public process. In the end, openness and transparency will better serve all Californians. Please obviously post in advance all meeting times and locations, the agenda, whether they are open or closed (the justification therefore), and the transcripts/minutes/reports following the meeting.”

You can read Durrell's entire letter here.

Open Meeting Letter -- Justine Durrell to Stem Cell Board Sphere: Related Content


  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Hurray! The citizens of the State of California need more people just like Justine Durrell who can and will take CIRM to task regarding open meetings. Also, without the California Stem Cell Report, incidences like the one at the Marriott might not have seen the full light of day.

    Bravo to these two groups (CSCR and Ms. Durrell) for their good works! This citizen thanks you!

  2. Anonymous2:57 PM

    This is the work of a (word removed) P.I. attorney looking for some free P.R. to post on her website, she would just love to post an official response on official State letterhead. I give her credit for exploiting the "incident at the Marriott" to attract some clients, it must have been a slow week.

    (Editor's note from the California Stem Cell Report: An anonymous reader filed the comment above . We are presenting it on the reader's behalf – slightly edited – because it contained a gratuitous, personally insulting adjective.)