Remember the play Little Shop of Horrors
and the alien plant keeps demanding, "Feed me!" This is now the mantra of Big Biotech. In country after country, state after state,and locality after locality, lobbyists for the biotech industry, their research allies/business partners at universities, and bioethicists demand an ever increasing level of public support for their private research. And they have governments on the run by warning direly that unless increased support comes in, the country, the state, or even, as in this story
, the locality will "fall behind" and lose tax revenues, jobs, treatments, etc. The effect is to whipsaw these localities into competing to throw the most money, tax benefits, etc. at these companies. PA, for example, is about to throw $500 million at stem cell research
. To paraphrase a Mel Brooks line, "It's good to be Big Biotech."
If this tactic were being employed by Big Oil, Big Tobacco, or Big Pharama, the media would be in high dudgeon. But journalists are in utter thrall to Big Biotech, so they obediently help in the search to fulfill the never ending demand, "Feed me!"