Michael J. Fox Does California Stem Cell Research Ad, Misleads Public

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael J. Fox Does California Stem Cell Research Ad, Misleads Public Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 14, 2004

Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — Michael J. Fox appears to be on track to replace Christopher Reeve as the leading celebrity spokesman for requiring taxpayers to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research.

After recording an ad for the Kerry campaign, the actor taped a television commercial for the lobbying group wanting California voters to approve $6 billion in state funding for the unproven research.

In the ad, Fox says, "My most important role lately is as an advocate for patients … and for finding new cures for diseases. That’s why I’m asking you to vote Yes on Proposition 71."

However, Fox continues to mislead the public when he says in the ad that embryonic stem cell research will provide cures for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Leading scientists and Alzheimer’s researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Georgia have said that Alzheimer’s is too complex of a disease to be able to benefit from the use of embryonic stem cells.

They are looking to other less controversial treatment methods to provide hope for those afflicted with the debilitating disease.

The Yes on 71 campaign, which has a multimillion dollar war chest, began running the ads statewide today.

A poll released last week shows only a slight gain in public support for a measure.

According to the California Field Poll of likely voters, support for Proposition 71 has increased to a 46 to 39 percent margin. The 7 point advantage is a shift from the three point lead the same poll found in August showing 45 percent in support and 42 percent of California residents opposed.

Wayne Johnson, a spokesman for a group of taxpayers and doctors opposed to the embryonic stem cell research proposal, says the support for the measure should be higher given the millions spent promoting it.

"These are outstanding numbers for us," he told the Bee. "Now is when they should be getting out front. You can’t turn on the television without seeing their spots."

Johnson said many voters will flinch when they see the $6 billion price tag for the destructive research. California is still battling tough economic times and the state government remains in a fiscal crisis.

Fox recently recorded a commercial for presidential candidate John Kerry that blasts President Bush’s August 2001 policy prohibiting taxpayer funding of any new stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

Bush has spent $190 million promoting the use of adult stem cells, which have developed more than 140 therapies. Embryonic stem cells have yet to cure any patients.

Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and announced his condition in 1998.

Related web sites:
Proposition 71 Voters’ Guide – https://www.noon71.us
California Catholic Conference – https://www.cacatholic.org/stemcell.html