Reuters Stem Cell Research Article Tagged for Deception, Bias

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Reuters Stem Cell Research Article Tagged for Deception, Bias

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 27, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The mainstream media has come under considerable scrutiny for its bias in association with covering the increasingly intense debates on stem cell research. However, a recent Reuters article has drawn the international news service condemnation for its bias and deception.

On Wednesday, Reuters ran an article with the headline, "Stem cell experts object to Bush ‘unethical’ label."

"Stem cell experts bristled at President Bush’s characterization of embryonic stem cell research as unethical, and said on Wednesday that the use of human embryos may be an interim step but a vital one," Reuters reported.

While readers may expect to hear from a barrage of scientists who object to President Bush’s characterization of embryonic stem cell research as "unethical," because it involves the destruction of human life, that’s not the case.

However, those experts were not doctors or research scientists. Instead, Reuters interviewed two political activists who lobby in favor of embryonic stem cell research and taxpayer funding for it.

One interviewee quoted int he article is Sean Tipton, vice president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research. Surprisingly, Reuters admits Tipton’s group "lobbies for stem cell research."

Reuters also interviewed activist Robert Lanza of privately owned Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts, which claimed in 2003 to have successfully engaged in human cloning.

Wesley Smith, an attorney and noted author who monitors bioethics issues, doubted the claims and said "the financially strapped ACT often trolls for venture capital using the popular media to tout its research instead of publishing peer reviewed journals."

While Lanza and Tipton are extensively quoted, Reuters does not quote any reputable scientists or researchers, any White House sources, representatives of pro-life groups, or opponents of embryonic stem cell research.

When asked to comment for this article Reuters did not return either a phone call or email from

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, told that the Reuters article "is so one-sided and tendentious, it could have been written by the public relations shop at the Biotechnology Industry Organization."

"It covers the entire gamut of viewpoints, from A to B," he added.