Friday, May 18, 2007

Letter to Detroit Free Press on stem cell research

The following letter was submitted to the Detroit Free Press regarding this misleading editorial by Liz Barry in the Free Press.
A recent editorial in the Free Press by Liz Barry insinuated that embryonic stem cell research "could boost Michigan(‘s) economy." Absent from the editorial was any explanation of how allowing the killing of human embryos for research would help Michigan's economy. Other states which are supposedly leading the way in embryonic stem cell research have provided researchers with millions upon millions of state tax dollars (which Michigan doesn't have with its current budget crisis). In other words, embryonic stem cell research doesn't bring money in, it typically asks taxpayers to foot the bill.

The editorial also states researchers have "voluntarily adopted rigorous guidelines" including "only using embryos slated for disposal." Why then are embryonic stem cell researchers like Sean Morrison strongly behind the legislative efforts of Rep. Andy Meisner to legalize the cloning of human embryos so they can be killed for research?

Proponents of embryonic stem cell research have been promising cures for years and they've received more than $100 million dollars from our federal government to conduct their research. Yet no human disease is anywhere near being treated with embryonic stem cells. Now they're promising an economic "boost" without any explanation. Don't buy the hype.
If space permitted the letter would have also discussed the fact that the vast majority of human embryos at fertility clinics aren't available for research. Instead, around 90% of those human embryos are being saved by their parents in the hopes of initiating a pregnancy in the future.