October 2006: Stem Cell Research

Biotech Firms Want Federal $$ for Dubious Embryonic Stem Cell Research Method Hundreds of MO People Rally in Kansas City Against Human Cloning Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Children With Brain Tumors Adult Stem Cell Research Provides Hope for Kidney & Liver Patients Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Produces Insulin for Diabetics Gene Therapy Successfully Treats Cancer TX Umbilical Cord Blood Bank Lacks Donations Stroke Damage Reduced with Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells Thalassemia Cured With Placental Cells Multiple Studies: Adult Stem Cells Can Mimic Embryonic Stem Cells – No need to Kill Human Embryos Adult Stem Cell Industry Growing BIOTECH FIRMS WANT GOVT $ FOR DUBIOUS EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH METHOD. Two leading biotech firms want the federal government to pay to distribute embryonic stem cells obtained through a dubious new method they claim does not destroy human life. However, the method was proven false in previous weeks after a media explosion claimed it solved ethics problems. California-based Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and WiCell Research Institute [Wisconsin company] plan to distribute new embryonic stem cell lines they say can be obtained without destroying human life. The cell lines would be produced with the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) technique ACT outlined in a recent paper in the scientific journal Nature. However, Nature was forced to revise press statements about the article that made it appear the technique did not destroy unborn children. Instead, all 16 of the human embryos involved in the research were destroyed and the technique remains hypothetical. None of the 16 embryos involved in the study by medical director Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT)...

August-September 2005: Birth Control

  Condoms Fail the Safety Test, FDA Halts Imports (9/05) Ugandan Condom Promotion Fails to Reduce Risk, Study Shows (9/05)   Planned Parenthood Turns A Deal on Morning After Pill Sales   Condom Errors Increase Gonorrhea Risk Among Men (AJHB,7-8/05) Study Suggests Importance of Documenting the Impact – or Failure -of Condom Promotion Birth Control Patch Manufacturer Faces Class Action Lawsuit Right of Conscience for Pharmacists… CONDOMS FAIL SAFETY TEST, FDA HALTS IMPORTS – The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a shipment of condoms from Thailand to the United States from Ansell, makers of Lifestyles, Mates and Kama Sutra brands, has failed the FDA safety standard tests. This is the second consecutive failure for the condom company’s Thailand plant. Ansell officials refused to identify which brand had failed inspection. The LifeStyle condom is the third largest seller in the world, with 11 percent of world condom sales. According to the Herald, Ansell reported August total sales for all products of $824 million, up from $791 million in August of 2004. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Thailand plant has been placed on Level 2 and can not ship products to the United States until ten consecutive shipments pass the safety tests. If another shipment fails, the plant will be placed on Level 3 detention and must be recertified. The company is making contingency plans to cover situation. The Herald reports that this is not the first time Ansell has failed FDA standards tests. Rubber gloves from Malaysia failed in October 2002. Ansell also points out that two of its competitors have had recent shipments placed under Level 1 detention as...

Canadian Physicians Warn of Dangers of MAP/EC (5/04)

Responding to Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew’s announcement on 18May04 that Health Canada will move forward with allowing the “morning after pill” (MAP) to be sold without a doctor’s prescription, Dr. Will Johnston, president of Canadian Physicians for Life, expressed concern that such a move could endanger the health of Canadian women and girls and raise serious issues regarding informed consent. “The policy to make the ‘morning after pill’ available without a doctor’sprescription puts women and girls at higher risk for disease and sexualhealth problems,” said Dr. Johnston. The “morning after pill” (MAP)  is a multiple dose of an oral contraceptive, levonorgestrel, which is found in the birth control pill. Manufacturers have reduced the hormone content of oral contraceptives due to serious side effects and health risks. “Now women are being encouraged to use these same pills, in multiple doses, as post-coital ‘contraception,'” Dr. Johnston said. “The potential long-term impact of these high hormone doses, especially when used repeatedly, is worrisome and not being adequately addressed.” The makers of the Plan-B MAP highlight on their website that it is “not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive.” Yet there is no way to prevent misuse and abuse if readily available without a prescription. “Physical and clinical examinations by a physician are essential to goodhealthcare: to counsel patients on how to reliably avoid pregnancy, todetermine sexually-transmitted diseases and abusive or coerciverelationships, and to discuss health risks,” said Dr. Johnston. “MAP doesnot protect against STDs and instead of preventing a pregnancy, mayterminate it. Such serious issues cannot be adequately addressed at apharmacist’s counter.” MAP can function in one of three ways: by preventing...