by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2006
Santa Fe, NM (LifeNews.com) — New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wants the state legislature to force taxpayers to spend millions of dollars promoting embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of human life. He is planning a legislative proposal to make the University of New Mexico a leader in the controversial science.
Richardson said on Tuesday he will propose a $10 million stem cell research package in the next session of the state legislature.
The funding would send $4 million to UNM to build a new embryonic stem cell research facility, give it $4 million to hire scientists and spend $2 million to train students in how to use embryonic stem cells.
"Today, states are the true innovative policy incubators in our nation," Richardson said in a statement. "And this announcement shows that once again, states are taking the lead while there is an absence of leadership from the Bush administration."
Richard Larson, associate vice president for research at UNM’s Health Sciences Center, told the Albuquerque Tribune newspaper, "It would be a state-funded facility where we could house researchers that do embryonic stem cell research."
UNM has already been working with adult stem cells, the only ones to help any patients, but has not worked with embryonic ones because President Bush has prohibited any funding of new embryonic stem cell research.
Larson said the university would be able to pursue the research because the work would be funded with state tax dollars.
He told the newspaper that work on building the new facility could begin in late 2007 and be completed in six to 12 months.
However, the funding for the facility and the research may be wasted money.
Scientists working with embryonic stem cell research on animals reconfirmed what pro-life advocates have been saying for years about it. Researcher Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center said injecting embryonic stem cells into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease would cause tumors.
Goldman’s research team has been injecting the controversial cells into rats that have the disease and the cells turned into tumors afterwards.
The scientists explained their findings in an article in the latest issue of Nature Medicine.
They said the embryonic stem cell injections helped some of the rats but some of the cells started growing in a manner that would eventually lead to a tumor.
Another team led by Ole Isacson, a Harvard Medical School professor of neuroscience and neurology, published similar results earlier this month in the online journal Stem Cells and found that the embryonic stem cells also produced tumors.
Adult stem cells have not had the same problems and have been used successfully to treat dozens of diseases and conditions. But scientists have said they don’t think embryonic stem cell research will lead to a cure for Parkinson’s.
University of Melbourne Emeritus Professor of Medicine Thomas Martin told Australian lawmakers recently that he did not think that embryonic stem cell research would even lead to cures for major diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson’s.
Martin, an internationally recognized Fellow of the Royal Society, said the embryonic stem cells produced from human cloning would have the same problems.