In both Australia and America there is a major battle taking place over stem cell research. As readers of this site will be aware, there are two main sources of stem cells: embryos, or non-embryos. Adult stem cells (ASCs) have been very effective thus far in numerous human therapies, while embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have not given rise to one human cure thus far.
And to obtain these cells the new-formed embryo must be destroyed. Thus we kill and cannibalise the embryo in the hope that one day we can help others. This is bad medicine and unethical science. But the pro-death camp continues to minimise adult stem cell use while vigorously promoting ESC use.
One leading American campaigner against ESC research is Wesley J. Smith. He has written a helpful article on this subject recently in The Weekly Standard which is worth drawing your attention to. Called “The Great Stem Cell Coverup,” (August 8, 2006), it shows how the US is engaged in the same deception and misinformation campaign as is Australia. We are constantly being promised much from ESCs, yet they continually fail to deliver.
“It has been repeated so often that it is now a mantra: ‘Embryonic stem cells offer the most promise for finding cures’ for degenerative diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. But saying something ten thousand times doesn’t make it true. Indeed, the embryonic stem cell mantra has yet to be demonstrated scientifically.”
Instead, it is ASC therapy that is doing wonders: “Based on the published science, there are 72 maladies for which human patients have received some benefit (which is not the same as being ‘cured’) from adult stem cell or umbilical cord blood interventions. Meanwhile, embryonic stem cells have yet to demonstrate any human therapeutic use.”
Indeed, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s databank shows that there are more than 500 approved human trials active or recruiting for patients in this country using adult stem cells, with more than 1,100 such approved experiments in all – versus zero for embryonic studies.”
Despite the lopsidedness of the results, the media continues to hype ESCs, as do many scientists and Big Biotech. Breakthroughs from adult stem cell usage are either minimised or ignored altogether. Why is this?
“There is a reason for the news blackout about the many encouraging advances in adult stem cell science. Worried that adult/umbilical cord blood research successes might tip public support away from embryonic research, proponents of federal funding for embryonic stem cell studies, aided by a compliant press, have mounted a vigorous campaign to downplay adult stem cell research.”
As Ann Coulter has suggested, the pro-abortion lobby knows that by softening the public up to the cannibalisation of embryos, it will become further desensitised to abortion itself. Plus the drug companies are all quite happy to get their hands on young embryos for research purposes of all sorts, including the testing of drugs, the development of cosmetics and other less-than-noble purposes.
Despite the media blackout on the success of ASCs, they have a proven track record, and we need to keep this information in the public spotlight. As Smith concludes, “Embryonic stem cells have not treated a single human patient, and only time can tell whether they ever will. Highlighting the progress of adult/umbilical cord blood stem cells – an uncontroversial therapeutic approach that does not require the destruction of human embryos – is a legitimate part of the public discourse.”