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Proposition 14: Stem Cell Balderdash at Sacramento
Bee

Has California’s stem cell program “relieved the
suffering of millions?” The Sacramento Bee thinks so, but
the assertion is totally false.

It was
contained in an editorial today
that endorsed Proposition
14
, which would save the state stem cell program from financial
extinction
along with broadly expanding the scope of the agency
, known
formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
(CIRM)

The agency was created in 2004 and was given $3
billion that the state borrowed. The cash is now running out. And
the agency will begin closing its doors this winter without a
massive infusion of money. Proposition 14 provides $5.5
billion. 

During its nearly 16 years, the agency CIRM has not
yet funded research that has led to a stem cell treatment widely
available to the public and approved by the federal
government. 

It has helped to fund 64 clinical trials, which are a
necessary prelude to commercializing a therapy. Some 30,000
patients would have to be enrolled in each of those trials to bring
the “relieved-suffering” figure to two million.

The “suffering of millions†rhetoric was not the
only case where the editorial echoed campaign hype. The Bee also
said that the measure would cost only “$5 per person per year for
30 years,† repeating an unsubstantiated assertion by the
campaign. It may or may not be accurate, but it would involve a
series of calculations and assumptions that the campaign is
unwilling to share with the public. 

The California Stem Cell Report asked the
campaign 53 days ago how it came up with the figure. The campaign
still has not responded, which is a reasonable indication that the
campaign lacks confidence in the number, to put it mildly.   

The editorial is behind a paywall. If you would like to see a
copy, please email djensen@californiastemcellreport.com.

Has California’s stem cell program “relieved the
suffering of millions?” The Sacramento Bee thinks so, but
the assertion is totally false.

It was
contained in an editorial today
that endorsed Proposition
14
, which would save the state stem cell program from financial
extinction
along with broadly expanding the scope of the agency
, known
formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
(CIRM)

The agency was created in 2004 and was given $3
billion that the state borrowed. The cash is now running out. And
the agency will begin closing its doors this winter without a
massive infusion of money. Proposition 14 provides $5.5
billion. 

During its nearly 16 years, the agency CIRM has not
yet funded research that has led to a stem cell treatment widely
available to the public and approved by the federal
government. 

It has helped to fund 64 clinical trials, which are a
necessary prelude to commercializing a therapy. Some 30,000
patients would have to be enrolled in each of those trials to bring
the “relieved-suffering” figure to two million.

The “suffering of millions†rhetoric was not the
only case where the editorial echoed campaign hype. The Bee also
said that the measure would cost only “$5 per person per year for
30 years,† repeating an unsubstantiated assertion by the
campaign. It may or may not be accurate, but it would involve a
series of calculations and assumptions that the campaign is
unwilling to share with the public. 

The California Stem Cell Report asked the
campaign 53 days ago how it came up with the figure. The campaign
still has not responded, which is a reasonable indication that the
campaign lacks confidence in the number, to put it mildly.   

The editorial is behind a paywall. If you would like to see a
copy, please email djensen@californiastemcellreport.com.

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