Embryonic stem cell science is devolving into pure spin and hype–and the media are happy to play along. This story from Reuters describes an agreement between the mendacious Advanced Cell Technology and an embryonic stem cell distributing non profit company, WiCell Research Institute, to distribute ES cell lines derived from ACT’s “new method” that does not destroy embryo–so long as the Feds agree to fund it.
AP had a similar report, picked up in today’s San Jose Mercury News.
Repeat after me: There is no new method. There may never be a new method. At this point, it is a fiction.
ACT is so beyond the pale now it hardly rates a comment. But this journalistic malpractice must stop. Reuters and the AP owe their readers more than merely regurgitating press releases. Good journalism would require telling readers that the supposed new technique doesn’t yet exist. Instead, in the version of AP story I linked above, the new method was treated merely as a fact. Reuters readers are told that opponents have “reservations about the method the company had devised and even some supporters of the research have expressed some doubts,” but no details are given.
Pulitzer is rolling over in his grave.