Watching the Berlin Wall Fall

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on November 6, 2008

This is exactly how one stem cell researcher in Canada felt about Obama’s recent win. Obama and his Democratic colleagues have said a top priority will be to relax the Bush administration funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

Obama said he strongly supports “expanding research on stem cells” and believes the Bush restrictions have “handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations.”

Of course he is less than accurate when he promises to “lift the current administration’s ban on federal funding”. There is NO ban, nor has there ever been a ban.

Here’s the tally of federal spending under the current administration:

In 2004 our federal government spent $24 million on human embryonic research.
In 2005 our federal government spent $40 million on human embryonic research.
In 2006 our federal government spent $38 million on human embryonic research.
In 2007 our federal government spent $42 million on human embryonic research.
In 2008 and 2009 our federal government is estimated to spend $42 and $41 million respectively on human embryonic research.

What ban exactly needs to be lifted?

Very odd that at the end of this article on the falling of the Berlin wall, the Canadian climate for funding stem cell research they tout is this:

” . . . the B.C. Cancer Agency have garnered $1.2 million for a new study on the use of UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD for stem cell transplants in adults with various blood cancers.”

Total federal funding for cord blood stem cells under the Bush administration is been a tad over $100 million dollars.

This is the kind of political corruption of science we are up against.

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