Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stem Cell Watchdog Warns of the Lure of the World Stage

San Diego – The Consumer Watchdog group today sounded a cautionary note on the international agreements involving CIRM (see item below) and warned that they "should be supported so long as they are based on scientific merit, not merely the glamor and glitz of playing on the world stage."

John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the watchdog group, noted that California law requires that CIRM-funded research be conducted within the state. Prop. 71 also requires that California suppliers be given preference, an issue that is now before the California legislature.

Simpson said in a statement,
"If the collaborations are driven by the science, that’s great. If it’s a matter of saying let’s go international, just to play on the world stage, I would be dubious."
He continued,
"It’s important that applicants for the disease team grants be judged completely on the scientific merit of their proposals,. Decisions cannot be twisted for geographic equity. I would hope that international collaborative efforts would rise to the top, but if they don’t, so be it."

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