Ronald M. Green joined Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technologysin a letter to the editor in Nature last week, bemoaning the “fact” that the Koreans had won the “stem cell” “race.” (Correspondence: Bush’s policy stopped US gaining stem-cell lead Nature 438, 422 (24 November 2005) (Sorry, subscription only)
Of all the people in the world, religion professor Ronald Green should know about cutting ethical corners for pay.
From the letter:
“Why did the South Koreans win this race despite our early lead?
“In our view, President George W. Bush’s restrictive policy on funding stem-cell research was a major factor. SCNT research is expensive— a full research programme costs hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. At that time, ACT was a privately financed company, and from the summer of 2001 on, it was operating in an extremely hostile funding environment, with no hope of federal support. There is no reason to believe that ACT was a special case. Indeed, the stem-cell area as a whole has continued to encounter difficulties in garnering sufficient financial support.”
Talk about irony: complaints about the hostile environment encountered by an industry that’s riddled with questionable ethics for hire, from a man who is responsible for quite a bit of the suspicion. If only ACT had kept quiet about the bovine-human embryo until more was known. If only ACT had kept quiet about their own human cloned embryos until more was known.
If only ACT had kept quiet about the Korean “win” until more was known about their practices of buying oocytes and influencing Ph.D. candidates to donate.
If only Green and ACTcould learn the difference between embryonic stem cells and ethical stem cells.