Biotech Firm Repeats Embryonic Stem Cell Without Destroying Life Claim

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Biotech Firm Repeats Embryonic Stem Cell Without Destroying Life Claim Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 21
, 2007

Alameda, CA ( — A leading biotech firm is repeating its claim that it has developed a process that can obtain embryonic stem cells from human embryos without destroying them. The destruction of days-old unborn children has been the main reason why pro-life groups oppose the controversial research.

The destruction of life is also President Bush’s largest concern and a key factor in his vetoing a bill on Wednesday that would have forced taxpayers to fund the research.

Advanced Cell Technology repeated its claims on Thursday that it created a line of human embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo in the process.

The company first revealed the process in an August 2006 published paper in Nature magazine described removing one cell from an embryo to create the stem cells without taking human life.

However, the company was later exposed for misleading reporters in press releases about the paper by claiming that none of the embryos were destroyed when none of them survived the process. The Senate eventually held a hearing on the dubious claims, where a top ACT official was berated by lawmakers who back the grisly research.

The company later threatened and others with lawsuits after ACT was exposed.

But on Thursday, the company said its scientists have succeeded in reproducing the earlier work. There was no indicated of whether they were able to save of the human embryos or whether all of the unique human beings were destroyed again.

ACT eventually modified its claims in a subsequent paper confirming previous reports indicating the assertions were false.

In an addendum to the original report, ACT admitted that none of the 16 human embryos in the original experiments survived the attempt at creating a new technique.

ACT also clarified its own claims about it’s research, now saying that it "might" be possible to obtain stem cells from a human embryo without killing it but not that it was a certainty.

Nature later apologized for the wrongful claims in its own press releases on the ACT research.