Saturday, January 21, 2012

LA Times: Deck Stacked at the IOM Hearing

The Los Angeles Times web site today carried a sharply worded piece about the upcoming Institute of Medicine hearing on the performance of the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

Written by Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Michael Hiltzik, the item was headlined,
"Stacking the deck on the stem cell program."
The piece referred to Tuesday's meeting of the Institute of Medicine panel looking into the stem cell agency's affairs. The Times article was based largely on a piece yesterday on the California Stem Cell Report that reported that six of the 11 witnesses at the IOM hearing were coming from institutions that had received $418 million from CIRM. The item also reported that the only other witnesses were either CIRM employees or on its governing board.

Hiltzik wrote,
"The insular character of the stem-cell research community always has made objective evaluations of CIRM difficult -- most of the experts in the field are in a position to seek grants from the program or work with it on grant review. The IOM study could have been a counterbalance to that. But that doesn't look like it's about to happen."

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