Monday, October 22, 2007

More stem cell "reporting" in Michigan

I think the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures have something on Kim Kozlowski. I can't understand why a real reporter would continue to write stories like this which are basically press releases (with a couple of blurbs from the prolife opposition) for them without ever questioning them or their numbers. Besides BioFlow Industries (which I believe I was told has a grand total of 3 employees) are there any other stem cell businesses which are thinking of leaving the state? How are these embryonic stem cell companies ever going to be profitable? If embryonic stem cell research is so profitable then why did researchers in California have to get $3 billion (at an eventual cost of $6,000,000,000 to the California taxpayers) in tax dollars? Why weren't there enough private investors to pay up if the returns were so promising?

Kozlowski then cites numbers assuredly given to her by the MCSCRC about how California's "investment is projected to generate state revenues and health care cost savings of between $6.4 billion and $12.6 billion, according to an economic impact report by the Analysis Group Inc." What is not noted is how liberal publications have pointed out how "hopelessly optimistic" those numbers are. Back in February, David Hamilton (a proponent of embryonic stem cell research) discussed in Slate how "the Baker-Deal numbers look hopelessly optimistic. To begin with, they assume that stem-cell treatments will work in the first place. Many of the most hyped biotechnology innovations of the last 25 years have yet to live up to their early promise. And when they do work, they often tend to improve medical care at the margins instead of revolutionizing it."

Something else which might interest Detroit News readers is the study which estimated the "hopelessly optimistic" numbers was commissioned by the California Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures at a cost of $200,000. Now maybe the study is completely accurate but shouldn't readers be able to decide for themselves how much they should trust numbers which cost a pro-embryonic stem cell group $200,000 to acquire.

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