Friday, September 22, 2006

Can the Michigan media get a clue on stem cell research?

Ugh... This crap is just so frustrating. The reporters and editorial boards for Michigan's newspapers either just don't have a clue about Michigan's law or they are intentionally deceiving their readers.

The Detroit News editorial above claims that Michigan law "makes it a felony to conduct embryonic stem cell research." This editorial mirrors a previous Detroit News editorial from March of 2006 which also included the same ignorant claims. Here is the law they are referring to. I'm sure not one of them has actually read it. The law makes it illegal to use live human embryos, fetuses or neonates in non-therapeutic research which can jeopardize the life of the unborn child. The law does nothing to prevent researchers from getting embryonic stem cells from individuals out of state and then experimenting on them in Michigan.

This reality is made abundantly clear by the fact that the University of Michigan is performing experiment on embryonic stem cells in Michigan. The question the Detroit News editorial board needs to answer is how can embryonic stem cell research be banned in Michigan when the University of Michigan has received a federal grant to do embryonic stem cell research? Or why the University of Michigan's web site says,
This means that U-M researchers can use human ES cell lines created by others – either the federally approved lines or new lines created elsewhere in accord with U-M policy. U-M scientists cannot create new human embryonic stem cell lines in the state of Michigan, if doing so would substantially jeopardize a live embryo.

The Detroit News editorial also says, "Any new legislation should continue to ban the creation of embryos solely for research purposes..." and "new legislation should ban all forms of human cloning." They seem to not understand that Michigan already has a ban on "all forms" of human cloning. They also don't mention that the new legislation sponsored by Andy Meisner and supported by the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures (the group they mention in the editorial) doesn't ban all forms of human cloning. It redefines cloning to allow human cloning for research as long as the cloned human embryo isn't implanted into a woman's womb. This is the creation of embryos solely for research purposes - something which they claim to be against.

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