For Big Biotech It is Never Enough
Oh, the whining. Massachusetts has funded and permitted human SCNT, but it forbids the buying and selling of human eggs for biological research. This has apparently brought research into human cloning to a halt because women aren't particularly interested in risking their lives, fecundity, and health so that some university or corporate (today they often wear both hats at once) scientist can strike it rich. The answer? Pay women to risk their lives and health. From the version of the story
in the Harvard Crimson
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Kevin C. Eggan expressed frustration at a major stem cell conference on Tuesday about a Massachussetts law that creates roadblocks to medical research.
Eggan lamented a state policy that limits access to human eggs by forbidding researchers from compensating women for egg donation. Since its inception in 2004, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute has not obtained a single egg from an eligible donor.
Eggan left town immediately after the conference ended yesterday and could not be reached for additional comment.
B.D. Colen, Harvard's senior communications officer for University science, said Eggan blamed an unfriendly legal climate at the state and federal levels for the Institute's lack of experimental findings. He added that Eggan noted women can receive compensation for eggs donated to treat infertility, but not for use in medical research.
"Despite an advertising campaign to find donors, we have yet to have a woman donate an egg to our cause," Eggan said, according to The Boston Globe.
Does the professor have a daughter or wife? Has he urged them to donate?
This story further illustrates the blank check mentality--both financially and ethically--that permeates Big Biotech. As to the disparity between research and IVF clinics: The answer isn't to permit buying and selling of eggs in research, it is to ban buying and selling of eggs for use in the very profitable fertility industry.