Human Exceptionalism

Once Again Missouri Media Totally Ignorant About SCNT

The only question I have about the Missouri media is whether they are intentionally ignorant about the scientific facts of human cloning, or they just don’t care.

The latest example of such journalistic malpractice comes in a St. Louis Post Dispatch column by Sylvester Brown, Jr.. Brown writes about a political candidate named Cynthia Kramer, who is supporting Amendment 2–an initiative to create a state constitutional right to conduct human cloning research in MO–as having had her leukemia put into remission, by stem cells, he writes, created through SCNT. He writes: “When Kramer’s cancer went into remission in 2002, she had her healthy cells harvested through a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer. After doctors transplanted those cells, the cancer again went into remission.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at such a bold assertion of an utter falsehood. Scientists have never harvested embryonic stem cells from cloned embryos to date, and certainly hadn’t done so in 2002. In fact, the procedure he describes is a classic adult stem cell procedure using bone marrow, a method often used with great success in treating leukemia. Good grief, where were this man’s editors?

I ask again: Can’t the media ever get this story factually right? Shame on Mr. Brown and his editors for foisting such misinformation upon the MO electorate during a heated and crucial campaign.