Embryonic Stem Cell Research Likely Won't Cure Any Diseases (6/04)

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Likely Won’t Cure Any Diseasesby Wesley Smith LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His next book, to be published in the fall, is Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World. Ian Wilmut, co-creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, wants your tax dollars to pay Big Biotech and their business partners in elite university life-science departments to conduct research into human cloning. Wilmut dropped this little bon mot to the London Telegraph while on his way to the United Nations to lobby against a pending international protocol that would outlaw all human-somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning. He took the opportunity of being interviewed to grouse that America’s refusal to publicly fund research into human cloning is stifling science and slowing the development of new medical cures. Wilmut’s complaint is part of an intense public-relations campaign intended to pressure federal and state governments to publicly fund human cloning.   Yet only three years ago, during the great stem-cell debate of 2001, biotech advocates assured a wary nation that they only wanted taxpayers to pay for embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) that would be strictly limited to using embryos leftover from in-vitro-fertilization treatments. After a protracted political struggle, President Bush partially accommodated the request by allowing federal funding on embryonic stem-cell lines already in existence as of August 9, 2001. But now, we are being told that ESCR alone won’t lead to treatments for degenerative diseases and disabilities such as Parkinson’s, spinal-cord injury, Lou Gehrig’s disease, juvenile diabetes, and the like. It...