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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Feed Me 2: “Fool’s Gold Rush”



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I am glad to see that I am not the only one noticing the ludicrousness of every government entity this side of the dog catcher tripping over themselves to throw money at Big Biotech. Business Investors Daily has an excellent editorial out about the same subject in general, and Proposition 71 in particular. Some key prose: "The only people who get nothing out of this $3 billion boondoggle are the California taxpayers who are writing the checks, and the medical patients who have been sold a bill of goods by stem-cell activists about sure-thing medical cures from public, instead of private, funding.

"Here are a few facts about stem-cell research funding: Public money is no better than private money in reaching a medical cure for AIDS, Alzheimer's disease and lupus. The only difference is, the private sector has an obligation to use its cash efficiently, and show results--something no government institute is obliged to do.

"Moral qualms aside, stem cell research is worthwhile only if it shows meaningful results. To date, the private sector has spent only $120 million on this research. Virtually all of it has gone into adult and umbilical-cord stem-cell research. Bill Gates, for instance, has spent only $2 million on it, and all of it in China.


Yet 72 treatments [Me: This is overstated, much of this reflects early human trials] have emerged from adult and umbilical stem-cell research--and none from embryonic stem-cell research--showing the market's efficiency.

"Activist complaints about the private sector's focus on adult and umbilical-cord stem cells have driven the state to spend $3 billion on embryonic stem-cell research — something the market won't touch, even though you can find plenty of liberal venture capitalists out there willing to pay for political campaigns with celebrity endorsers.
The only thing this amounts to is a boondoggle for voters--fool's gold the private sector had already panned for and rejected, having found the truth out first."


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