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Funding for failed California tax-funded embryonic stem cell institute dries up

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

SACRAMENTO, California, July 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Having failed to produce cures from experimentation on aborted babies’ stem cells, the taxpayer-subsidized California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced that it lacks sufficient funds and will no longer accept grant applications to support human embryonic stem cell research. 

In a blog post, CIRM’s Kevin McCormack wrote: “we have posted a notice on our website for researchers thinking about applying for funding that, except in a very few cases, they are too late, that there is no money available for new projects, whether it’s Discovery, Translational or Clinical.” 

CIRM was created in 2004 when California voters approved a $3 billion bond issue to support research into supposed medical uses for tissue taken from aborted babies. The support came despite objections from physicians, medical researchers, ethicists, and pro-life campaigners. 

Almost all of the progress in stem cell scientific studies has come from research into adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. The latter were discovered in 2006. The imagined cures from embryonic stem cells that have been proffered by scientists and celebrities, such as actor/activist Michael J. Fox, have not materialized. 

“From a medical perspective, the debate is settled: research that destroys human embryos has not produced a single validated treatment for any disease, much less delivered on sweeping promises of miraculous cures,” explains the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Adult stem cells, harvested ethically from sources like bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, as well as induced pluripotent stem cells created by the reengineering of body cells, are already saving lives and revolutionizing medicine.”

CIRM was not able to secure $200 million in bridge funding from private sources, according to Science

“Now, CIRM boosters are looking to a $5.5 billion bond initiative that real estate developer Robert Klein, who led the original push to create the agency, hopes to add to the November 2020 ballot,” Science reported.

According to McCormack of CIRM, if the envisioned bond initiative is approved, he expects that there will be but a little gap in funding. However, he fears that if the initiative is rejected, the staff at CIRM will be reduced and the agency will disappear by 2023.

According to Science, Jeanne Loring, a main proponent of embryonic stem cell research, is undaunted by the lack of success. Loring claimed that CIRM has made California the “center of the stem cell universe.” While she said it would be “tragic” to see it fail, she acknowledged that replicating the social and political environment that led to the initial ballot initiative will be difficult. California is currently facing a state and municipal government debt in excess of $1.5 trillion, while tent cities of homeless people have been blamed for criminal violence and the spread of contagious disease. A majority of Californians are considering fleeing the state because of its taxes and high cost of living. 

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