Friday, August 19, 2005

The Bee: Nonprofit Control of CIRM?

The California stem cell agency is "in denial" about its problems, The Sacramento Bee says, and should stop soliciting funds from non-profit organizations.

The Bee editorial Aug. 13 took on a grabbag of issues still festering at CIRM. It was probably most critical of the agency's plan to sell $200 million in bond anticipation notes to charities to fund the organization.

The Bee said such a move could lead to nonprofit groups effectively controlling CIRM. The editorial also said that it was unlikely that the charities would passively eat any losses on the notes. "They will exert enormous pressure on state lawmakers to reimburse them for some or all of the $200 million, adding to the state's budget problems," The Bee said.

During the hiatus on funding created by litigation against CIRM, the newspaper said that rather than soliciting charities, the agency should resolve lingering questions concerning conflict-of-interest policies, research ethics and licensing of therapies.

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