Monday, March 9, 2009

Cantor On Stem Cell Research

President Obama is bringing science back to the White House:

A top congressional Republican on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama's expected decision to reverse the Bush administration's limits on embryonic stem-cell research, calling it a distraction from the country's economic slump.

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor also says the policy reversal could lead to embryo harvesting, which "shouldn't be done."

"Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy? This is job No. 1. Let's focus on what needs to be done," Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican whip in the House of Representatives, told CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama's move, scheduled for Monday morning, is part of a broader effort to separate science and politics and "restore scientific integrity in governmental decision-making," White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes said Sunday. The Bush administration's 2001 policy bars federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells beyond the cell lines that existed at the time.

One can only assume that Cantor is also incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. And then of course we get the standard fear-inducing straw man argument:
Because stem cells have the potential to turn into any organ or tissue cell in the body, research advocates say they could yield cures to debilitating conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease and spinal injuries. But because work on embryonic stem cells involves the destruction of human embryos, many conservatives supported the limits former President George Bush imposed by executive order in 2001.

"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs," Cantor said. "We don't want that. That shouldn't be done. That's wrong."

He's right, and nuclear testing in the Pacific can bring on Godzilla but I wouldn't count on that happening either. Hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are discarded every year by in vitro fertilization clinics. The idea that stem cell research will lead to Matrix-like fields of human embryos being grown for scientific research is laughable at best and dangerous at worst, and Cantor is a dishonest fool for saying so.


Van Zan said...

Is it possible - probable even - that Mr Cantor isn't avoiding the true reason for opposition to embryonic stem-cell research?
This being that it upsets the religious Right upon whom the Republicans deeply rely for support.

And that THEIR reason for being upset is not anything so imaginative as human batteries... Remember these people have a conceptual problem with dinosaurs, and in some cases with the Earth orbiting the Sun.

It's just opposition to anything that seems to them like God's turf.

JBW said...

This why the GOP will never make a serious attempt to end abortion VZ, they need the Religious Right and their rabid fervor to win elections. It's hypocrisy but the fundies don't seem to notice and/or care.