Thursday, February 08, 2007

Governor Granholm on embryonic stem cell research

During Tuesday's 2007 State of the State Address, Governor Jennifer Granholm had a couple of things to say about embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.
We can also improve the quality of health care in Michigan and give our economy a boost by removing the barriers to embryonic stem cell research, which could help thousands of people afflicted with life threatening and debilitating diseases.

It will also energize our emerging life sciences industry in Michigan. Today, Michigan is at the back of the pack when it comes to allowing this important research.

It's time to act on the issue. I can assure you, if the Legislature does not allow this research, the people will be taking it to the ballot.

Improve the quality of health care? Give our economy a boost? All this just by allowing scientists to kill human embryos for research and clone and kill embryos for research? Amazing, huh? I wonder if proponents of embryonic stem cell research will still be making these kinds of outlandish claims in 5 years if they still are nowhere near treating people.

The supposed barriers Granholm is referring to are Michigan's ban on killing human embryos for research and Michigan's ban on human cloning. That's the research which is not being allowed but you wouldn't know that from Granholm's speech. Embryonic stem cell research is legal and going on right now at the University of Michigan.

Are these "barriers" really pushing Michigan to the back of the pack in life sciences? If so, then why did Governor Granholm claim less than a month ago that Michigan's "21st Century Jobs Fund are already at work positioning the state as a leader in life sciences" and note that there are 120 new life sciences companies in Michigan since 2000? Are we at the "back of the pack" or are we "a leader?" Can Governor Granholm give us a straight answer?

But what I'm really wondering about is how will research which is typically whining and moaning for public funding help boost our state's struggling economy and when will this supposed boosting begin? We've already seen proponents of embryonic stem cell research and cloning in California make a number of outlandish claims about financial returns to their state. What reasons do we have to believe that legalizing human cloning in Michigan will boost our economy?

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