Stowers Stem Cell Research Institute Still Won’t Expand After Missouri Ruling

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Stowers Stem Cell Research Institute Still Won’t Expand After Missouri Ruling

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 5
, 2008

Kansas City, MO ( — Friday’s ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals, that will likely make it so an amendment won’t appear on the November ballot to close the pro-human cloning loophole in Amendment 2, won’t pave the way for the Stowers Institute to move ahead with an expansion.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that part of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot summary was “insufficient and unfair.”

But the delay in the ruling has made it so backers of the proposal can’t secure enough signatures in time to qualify it for the November ballot.

Still, Laurie Roberts, a spokeswoman for the institute, said on Monday that the decision doesn’t give Stowers any reason to alter its previous decision not to expand.

"We’re … not ready to proceed yet," Roberts told the Kansas City Business Journal.

"Those who oppose embryonic stem cell research have made it clear they will attempt another ballot initiative in 2010. We have a fiduciary responsibility to be assured that the political environment in Missouri is science-friendly before we invest in a second campus," she said.

Last summer, Stowers stopped a planned expansion after pro-life advocates announced their bid to close the cloning loophole in Amendment 2, that was financed almost entirely by the stem cell research institute.

Stowers opened a 600,000-square-foot research campus in 2000 and planned to open a second facility, but officials have said they have had difficulty recruiting scientists.