Stem Cell Agency Should Begin Funding Research, Editorials Say
Two newspapers recently published editorials addressing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Proposition 71, which voters approved in 2004 to fund stem cell research.
A Superior Court judge last week ruled that the stem cell institute does not violate state law and that CIRM and the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee "are operating in the same fashion as other state agencies."
Plaintiffs had argued that Proposition 71 violated the state Constitution because it created a publicly funded agency that was not "under the exclusive management and control" of the state.
An attorney for the plaintiffs said an appeal is likely (California Healthline, 4/24).
Summaries of the editorials appear below.
Contra Costa Times: "Unfortunately, the legal battle is not over" for CIRM, as "[a]ppeals are likely to continue all the way to the California Supreme Court," according to a Contra Costa Times editorial. Once the legal issue is "put to rest, ... stem cell research can proceed with the help of" Proposition 71, the editorial states. The research is "worth the effort" because it could "open up a huge new area for advances in health care as well as creating a major new industry that would be centered in the Bay Area," according to the editorial (Contra Costa Times, 4/26).
- Los Angeles Times: The lawsuit challenging Proposition 71 has increased "public and legislative pressure on the institute to adopt policies that meet high standards for ethics and accountability," which is why legislation that aims to "rein in" the agency "should be rejected," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. SB 401, by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), has been "pushing the agency in the right direction, but her measure is at best premature," the Los Angeles Times writes. CIRM "is on the right track" and "should be given the chance to work out its rules and begin its important research before the Legislature starts micromanaging every aspect of its work," the Los Angeles Times concludes (Los Angeles Times, 4/27).