by Dr. Fazale Rana
November 6, 2006
LifeNews.com Note: Fazale Rana, Ph.D. is the vice president for science apologetics at the science/faith think-tank, Reasons To Believe, Rana did his undergraduate work in chemistry at West Virginia State College. He did his post-graduate studies at Ohio University and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry.
The battle over stem cells continues to stir up controversy as Election Day draws near. In Missouri the controversy over Amendment 2 has become front page news with emotionally charged pleas from Michael J. Fox lending his celebrity to endorse candidates who are proponents of embryonic stem cell research.
Missouri’s Amendment 2 reads like something out of a George Orwell novel.
Amendment 2, which claims to ban human cloning, will give researchers a constitutional right to use a procedure called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) to create human embryos and then destroy the embryos for their stem cells.
It’s a sophisticated shell game of semantics to say that this amendment will ban human cloning. Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer is cloning. This level of dishonesty is jaw dropping — unbelievable bias!
SCNT is the same procedure that was used to clone Dolly the sheep.
Not only is cloning repugnant, but embryonic stem cells offer very little prospect for success. We so often hear about the potential benefits of embryonic stem cells, but never the pitfalls of this technology.
Embryonic stem cells tend to form tumors when implanted into tissue, they are susceptible to acute rejection, and are genetically unstable in laboratory culture.
Ballot initiatives like Missouri’s Amendment 2 are in reality, unnecessary. Alternative treatments using adult stem cells and cord blood show real promise and have already been tested but due to lack of funding and support from the big pharmaceutical companies and research labs, these therapies are being overlooked.
There are groups of people who stand to gain a great deal if Amendment 2 passes. Unfortunately, it is not those who are ill, suffering or in a wheel chair. It’s time we set aside all the politics and emotions–and yes, economics–and start to really care about saving human lives.