Cures without Cloning filed a lawsuit Friday against MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.
They want to add an initiative question to the next MO election ballot asking voters whether they want to ban somatic cell nuclear transfer, i.e., human cloning. Simple. Straightforward
They're exposing and attempting to fix language deceptive human embryonic stem cell/cloning supporters added to the 2006 initiative, which was to say it banned human cloning, when it did the opposite simply by changing the definition of cloning.
Carnahan's job as SOS was to review the new initiative and write a ballot summary. Here's what she came up with....
... to repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning and to limit Missouri patients' access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006.
A total mischaracterization.
When even liberals agree Carnhan did something shady, it's bad. Pro-human embryo experimentation St. Louis Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan scolded Carnahan:
Reverse course, Robin. You're wrong.
Ever since voters narrowly passed Amendment 2 (stem cell initiative) last year, opponents of that amendment have argued that the voters were deceived by misinformation and cloudy language.
In particular, the opponents have argued that the summary for Amendment 2 was misleading when it stated that the amendment would ban human cloning. They argue that somatic cell nuclear transfer - the transplanting of DNA into an unfertilized egg to grow stem cells, a technique protected under the amendment - is the first step in human cloning. They ask, How can you say you're banning something when you're protecting it?
Proponents of the amendment answer that the amendment prohibits implanting the cloned cells in a womb, and therefore it really does ban human cloning....
The opponents of Amendment 2 want to put the issue to the voters again. They want to amend the definition of human cloning... to ban somatic cell nuclear transfer.
That seems clear....
It is the job of the Secretary of State to summarize the issue in simple language. In this instance, the proposed summary states that the initiative would "repeal the current ban on human cloning" and "criminalize and impose civil penalties for some currently allowed research, therapies and cures."
Come on, Robin. Repeal the current ban? That's confusing. It would expand the ban. Criminalize and impose civil penalties for some currently allowed research, therapies and cures? That's loaded language. Just say it would prohibit research that is currently allowed under both state and federal law....
[Cloning opponents] have the right to clear language. Everybody should be able to understand what this is about. This is not an effort to repeal the current ban on human cloning. This is an effort to amend the definition of human cloning to include somatic cell nuclear transfer. This is
not about stopping stem cell research. This is about stopping embryonic stem cell research.
If the language isn't clear, nothing will be resolved. Amendment 2 was supposed to ensure the legality of embryonic stem cell research and establish Missouri as a safe place to do cutting-edge research. That did not happen....
The current mess is the result of fuzzy language, language that allowed the opponents of Amendment 2 to cry foul. Let's not repeat our mistakes. Win or lose next time, let's be done with it.
Beyond challenging Carnahan's misleading description of the intiative, some are calling for her impeachment, since she has taken at least $25k from pro-human cloning groups.
The lawsuit contends this is a constitutional free speech issue. Bullet points:
Communicating with MO citizens about an initiative measure is core political speech, subject to heightened First Amendment protection. The government has attached its own speech to our measure, drowning out some of our message. At a minimum, this will make it more expensive and time-consuming to get our message to our supporters and other MO citizens. It also increases the probability that at least some of these individuals will not actually get our message at all.... It will also make us alter our own speech and adopt a different campaign than we would have adopted had the government remained truly neutral.
This is an undue burden on our First Amendment right to speak on this issue. There is no compelling government interest in engaging in its own speech for or against this measure. Even if there was a compelling government interest in engaging in its own speech for or against this measure, the ballot that voters see when they walk into the voting booth is not the place for the government to speak.
Even liberals and those who support cloning should agree with the right of MO citizens to have a fair chance to vote it up or down.
Jill, did you get my email?Posted by: Jess at October 22, 2007 12:53 PM
Jess, yes, thanks for the reminder. I've been gone a week and am a little behind.Posted by: Jill Stanek at October 22, 2007 1:08 PM
How have you been? I haven't heard from you in awhile. Check in, if you get a chance.Posted by: mk at October 22, 2007 1:22 PM
Busy like a fox, lol, that's how I've been : ) But I guess it's good to stay busy, so my idle hands don't do the devils work : )Posted by: Jess at October 22, 2007 1:51 PM
How've you been mk?Posted by: Jess at October 22, 2007 1:51 PM
well you certainly clear things up with the image of 4 cloned babies on your page.
So tell me, lets be clear. Ho wmany babies have ever been cloned?
Can you link me to any story, anywhere that shows a baby thats been cloned?
I think someone told me it was actually impossible to clone babies, even though some have tried un successfully in South Korea. I know Amendment 2 bans implanting any cells in the uterus which makes even attempting to clone babies illegal.
So what does this new amendment do that the previous Amdndment did not cover besides attack the scientific method of discovery called SCNT?Posted by: clarified? at October 22, 2007 4:39 PM
Hey there clarified. SCNT is human cloning, at least in theory. You are correct about South Korea. There was a scientist named Hwang Woo Suk who claimed around 2003 or 2004 that he had successfully cloned a human embryo using SCNT. However this was shown to be a lie, and turned out to be quite humiliating for South Korea. So SCNT has never been successful in human trials.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at October 22, 2007 4:47 PM
Here 'ya go - a compromise that works for everyone:
Human-animal embryo study wins approval
Mixing cells and eggs to be allowed in search for new medical treatments
Ian Sample, science correspondent The Guardian Tuesday September 4 2007 Plans to allow British scientists to create human-animal embryos are expected to be approved tomorrow by the government's fertility regulator. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority published its long-awaited public consultation on the controversial research yesterday, revealing that a majority of people were "at ease" with scientists creating the hybrid embryos.
Researchers want to create hybrid embryos by merging human cells with animal eggs, in the hope they will be able to extract valuable embryonic stem cells from them. The cells form the basic building blocks of the body and are expected to pave the way for revolutionary therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and even spinal cord injuries.
The consultation papers were released ahead of the authority's final decision on the matter, which will mark the end of almost a year of intense lobbying by scientists and a fervent campaign by organisations opposed to research involving embryonic stem cells.
Using animal eggs will allow researchers to push ahead unhindered by the shortage of human eggs. Under existing laws, the embryos must be destroyed after 14 days when they are no bigger than a pinhead, and cannot be implanted into the womb.
Opponents of the research and some religious groups say the work blurs the distinction between humans and animals, and creates embryos that are destined to be destroyed when stem cells are extracted from them.
Two research groups based at King's College London and Newcastle University have already applied to the HFEA to create animal-human embryos, but their applications have been on hold since November last year amid confusion over whether the authority was legally able to issue licences.
If the authority approves the research, the applications will go forward to a committee, with a decision on both due within three months.
Professor Ian Wilmut, whose team cloned Dolly the sheep, is waiting for the HFEA's decision before applying to create hybrid embryos to study motor neurone disease with Professor Chris Shaw at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.
The consultation, a £150,000, three-month mix of opinion polls, public meetings and debates, found participants were initially cautious of merging animal and human material, but became more positive. "When further factual information was provided and further discussion took place, the majority of participants became more at ease with the idea," the HFEA's report says.
Most support was expressed for the creation of so-called cytoplasmic hybrid embryos, in which a human cell is inserted into an empty animal egg. Other hybrid embryos, such as those created by fertilising an animal egg with human sperm, or vice versa, were less well supported.
In December, the government sparked a revolt by scientists, patient groups and medical researchers when it published a white paper containing proposals to outlaw almost all research into animal-human embryos. The research has since been backed by Nobel prizewinners, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Commons science and technology committee, and the government's chief science adviser, Sir David King.
In May, the government withdrew its opposition in a draft fertility bill and now seeks to outlaw only embryos created by mixing sperm and eggs from humans and animals. The bill will be put before parliament before the end of the year.
Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, said: "The HFEA's consultation reveals welcome recognition of the potential of this research, [with] 61% of the general public agreeing with the creation of human-animal embryos, if it may help understand diseases, with only a quarter opposed to this research."
a line from the article you quoted.
"...are expected to pave the way for revolutionary therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and even spinal cord injuries."
This is research speak for, "Send Money Now, or you'll die. Send money Now, Only our projects can save you. Send Money Now. The end justifies the means. Send Money Now. Our scientists have adjustable rate mortgages. Send Money Now, we're close to a cure, Send Money Now, the cure could be as close as just $500 million Send Money Now. in just 50 short years we will be able to cure everything Send Money Now, we're a 501 c 3 Send Money Now
Blatant fear mongering for the almighty dollar.
Ever since the March of Dimes successfully found a vaccine for polio, every dang research project that comes along has been promising the same. What have we really got for billions upon billions spent?
The polio vaccine cost $2 million. and by now has probably saved a millions.
More lives have been saved by the technology that came from the space program than by all these biomedical research projects.
It is an incredible money maker that plays on people's fearsPosted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2007 9:03 PM
It is an incredible money maker that plays on people's fears
Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2007 9:03 PM
No, that would be Christianity.Posted by: Laura at October 22, 2007 10:49 PM
Whether it is televangelist frauds or
slick "find a cure campaigns"
caveat emptorPosted by: hippie at October 23, 2007 6:59 AM
Send me a whole bunch of money or I'm gonna get "called home."Posted by: Doug at October 23, 2007 11:51 AM
still waiting, how many cloned babies exist?
how many have every existed?
Is it possible to birth a clone?
Should the potential to be born be a necessary prerequisite for life to be viable?
Some basic questions you should answer based on your assertions.
Posted by: clarified?
at October 23, 2007 4:12 PM
"still waiting, how many cloned babies exist?"
"how many have every existed?"
"Is it possible to birth a clone?"
Only in theory.
"Should the potential to be born be a necessary prerequisite for life to be viable?"
I'm not sure what you mean. Either life is viable or it isn't. Technology allows us to allow younger and younger babies to survive outside the womb, but human opinion does not determine viability.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at October 23, 2007 4:22 PM
I saw a good cartoon a ways back - a sheep (Dolly the cloned sheep) is standing before St. Peter, who's looking in a great big book, and he's saying,"Strange - we already seem to have a Dolly..."Posted by: Doug at October 23, 2007 9:49 PM
"Should the potential to be born be a necessary prerequisite for life to be viable?"
I'm not sure what you mean. Either life is viable or it isn't.
...exactly, is life viable if it cannot be born?
No one can clone a baby even if they try, so what is all of the commotion about SCNT?
A few more relevant questions about SCNT..
Does SCNT involve sperm to create a fertilized embryo? No.
Does SCNT create a unique new DNA of an individual or regenerate the same DNA from an existing person?
No. It is a copy of an existing doner cell, the same way your body copies its code to create millions of new cells every day.
Posted by: clarified?
at October 26, 2007 11:32 AM
so even though these cells are not unique, nor created by sperm and egg and they have no possibility of reproducing a baby the research opponents still claim science is murdering tiny people. Its truly astounding that they use this argument to stop progress to relieve suffering of REAL people! To me it is an act of inhuman obstruction.