Story on stem cell research was misleading |

Story on stem cell research was misleading

Your Sept. 20 Associated Press article on stem cell research in the Health and Fitness Section paints an inaccurate picture of a Bush administration restricting funding for this area of science.This is not true, unless one considers a 70 percent increase over three years to be a restriction. According to the Office of Management and Budget, as cited in the Aug. 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal, budget expenditures increased from $306 million to $521 million from 2001 to 2003. In fact, there was no funding at all for human embryonic stem cell research in 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration. There is no limit on private funding.In stark contrast, the countries of Germany, Ireland and Austria ban both private and state funding for the creation of human cells for stem cell research. The article also does readers a disservice by glossing over the many facets of the human embryonic stem cell debate. In a 2004 Health Affairs – Web Exclusive (Volume 4), Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health and a registered political independent (like this letter writer), stated that: “Decisions pertinent to stem cell research touch social, ethical and moral issues that must be debated in a setting that is larger than science policy alone.” The decision regarding funding stem cell research is a complicated one, pitting concerns about human life with the needs for scientific research. Your readers deserve the truth about such an important matter.

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