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The Unconscionable Claims of Michael J. Fox
The American Thinker ^ | October 25th, 2006 | Mary L. Davenport, MD

Posted on 10/25/2006 7:05:56 AM PDT by veronica

The popular and appealing actor Michael J. Fox has taken to the airwaves in Senate battleground states Missouri, Maryland, and New Jersey with a highly misleading ad urging defeat of Republican Senatorial candidates opposing the use of taxpayer dollars to fund new embryonic stem cell line research. He states,

“Stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans with diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s…. But George Bush and Michael Steele would put limits on the most promising stem cell research.”

Mr. Fox and his ads’ sponsors are guilty of conflating embryonic stem cell research, which the GOP candidates and many Americans oppose for destroying a human life in the name of curing other people’s diseases, with stem cell research in general, which includes adult stem cell research and umbilical cord blood stem cell research.

The only limits in question are on federal funding of new embryonic stem cell lines, requiring the sacrifice of new embryos. Private and state-funded research (California voters are spending six billion dollars borrowing money to fund this) is ongoing. The implicit claim that research based on new embryos is “the most promising” is absurd, completely unsupported by the scientific literature, and an insult to voters, based as it is on the assumption that they are incapable of understanding the issue. Too stupid to tell the difference, is the elitist assumption underlying this campaign.

Flim-flam is a charitable description. Why would federally-funded research be more promising than state- and privately-funded research? And on what possible basis can the claim be made that embryonic stem cell research is more promising than adult stem cell research?

The plain fact is that embryonic stem cell research is proving to be a bust. There are currently 72 therapies showing human benefits using adult stem cells and zero using embryonic stem cells. Scientifically-minded readers can review this medical journal article on the status of adult stem cell research. while no such treatments are even remotely in prospect for embryonic stem cell research.

The fact is that adult stem cells have already produced remarkable cures, whereas embryonic stem cells have failed. This should come as no great surprise to anyone with a background in high school biology. When an embryo is created by the union of the sperm and egg, the cells begin to divide, creating embryonic stem cells from which all future tissues and organs are derived. Within days, the embryonic cells differentiate into three cell layers – ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Cells in these layers continue to differentiate into tissues and organs. As the embryo matures into a fetus, child, and adult, some undifferentiated cells of the three types remain in various tissues such as bone marrow, fat, skin and olfactory tissue.

These adult stem cells are multipotent: they have the ability to turn into a variety of types of tissues. Successful stem cell therapies cause the DNA in the adult stem cells to further differentiate into more specific types of cells. There is no point in getting the adult stem cell to turn into a less differentiated type of cell, or using the more primitive embryonic stem cells. This would be going backward, in the opposite direction of providing a clinically useful therapy. Difficulties abound with proposed embryonic stem cell therapies. The growth of the more primitive embryonic stem cells is more difficult to control and leads to tumor formation. Recent research suggests brain tumors may result. Additionally, the use of embryonic tissue foreign to the patient can potentially lead to problems with immune rejection of tissue, a problem not encountered in using a patient’s own adult stem cells.

America is the most formidable medical research center in the world, but it is far from alone in pursuing the potential of adult stem cells. The worldwide effort is impressive and growing. For non-adult stem cell research, a morally unquestionable alternative source exists: stem cells drawn from umbilical cord blood. Already a bank exists in Dubai collecting cord blood stem cells.

In short, the claims made in the Michael J. Fox political ads are false and reprehensible, an insult to the voters of Maryland, Missouri and New Jersey, and to all Americans.

Mary L. Davenport, MD is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: escr; michaeljfox; stemcells
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To: Rummyfan
They always get 'the right to say what he wants' confused with immunity from criticism and rebuttal.

Witness: Cindy Sheehan, The Jersey Girls, So called Vets like Kerry, Murtha etc etc etc
51 posted on 10/25/2006 10:09:26 AM PDT by Nav_Mom
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To: polymuser
Michael, the newest neoliberal saint/martyr (pawn). Bye, Cindy.

Or, the latest Millionaire Limo Lib who wants his cure funded by the average American Tax payer.
52 posted on 10/25/2006 10:11:16 AM PDT by Nav_Mom
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To: Pookyhead

According to certain AIDS activists, Ronald Reagan caused them to have the disease. The "residentially challenged" activists and their MSM shills also made outlandish claims about the number and causes of homelessness in America, blaming Reagan for that problem, as well. I guess homelessness was solved by BJ Clinton, since we heard almost nothing about it almost from the day he was inaugurated. Yep, those Democrats are miracle workers.


53 posted on 10/25/2006 10:47:29 AM PDT by attiladhun2 (Islam is a despotism so vile that it would warm the heart of Orwell's Big Brother)
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To: veronica

The voters here in California were stupid enough to buy into this crap so now they're looking for more stupid people to give them more money. Stupid people.


54 posted on 10/25/2006 10:52:05 AM PDT by rbosque
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To: Nav_Mom

THE DEMOCRAT PARTY--THE POLITICAL WING OF THE CULTURE OF DEATH!


55 posted on 10/25/2006 10:52:39 AM PDT by attiladhun2 (Islam is a despotism so vile that it would warm the heart of Orwell's Big Brother)
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To: rbosque

Not this CA voter.


56 posted on 10/25/2006 10:54:03 AM PDT by attiladhun2 (Islam is a despotism so vile that it would warm the heart of Orwell's Big Brother)
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To: veronica

Why can't a person with a disease get political about an unrelated cause? Why are these a-holes so self serving?

Even Larry Flint had more ethics than Christopher Reeve and MJ Fox. Check out the comments on this lefty site regarding Flint.

http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?p=550141


57 posted on 10/25/2006 11:01:11 AM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: veronica

WHY can't these bozos get the fact that ADULT stem cells are working, but not EMBRYONIC????


58 posted on 10/25/2006 12:27:45 PM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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To: attiladhun2

Me neither.


59 posted on 10/25/2006 12:51:34 PM PDT by rbosque
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To: veronica; Coleus; Peach; airborne; Asphalt; Dr. Scarpetta; I'm ALL Right!; StAnDeliver; ovrtaxt; ...
Current Science of Regenerative Medicine with Stem Cells

This was linked at the original article. Although it's a pdf link, it's a pretty good summary of regenerative medicine with all types of stem cells.

60 posted on 10/25/2006 2:50:38 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Sister_T
However, using that disease to manipulate the public into destroying more lives....

I wonder what Fox's answer would be to this: They find a cure. But, they only have enough to cure one person. Would he demand that it be him?

61 posted on 10/26/2006 4:11:34 AM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote.)
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To: Sister_T
However, using that disease to manipulate the public into destroying more lives, just to save him is pretty pathetic,

It's not even limited to that. Most likely his course of action is counterproductive to that end. He could readily acknowledge the progress with adult and cord stem cells and simply advocate more funds for that...but he's not.

62 posted on 10/26/2006 5:27:44 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: veronica

I said this on another thread, but it bears repeating.

I don't care for Dick Morris, but he said that this is going to backfire on the Dems.


63 posted on 10/26/2006 5:29:06 AM PDT by no dems (I'll take a moral Mormon over a demonic Democrat or repugnant RINO anyday.)
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To: veronica

bump


64 posted on 10/26/2006 5:33:56 AM PDT by sport
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To: veronica

The link below is an interesting one with interviews with Fox and Ali.

http://www.veotag.com/player/Default.aspx?pid=b48abfb4-aa12-43e5-99e2-1bf3a47fa464


65 posted on 10/26/2006 6:20:21 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: Grampa Dave

For the record, I don't get the whole Ali thing. Never did, never will.


66 posted on 10/26/2006 6:23:57 AM PDT by veronica (http://www.freerepublic.com/~starcmc/)
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To: veronica

http://abortiontv.com/Misc/Embryonic_Stem_Cell%20Research_Tumors%20.htm



Embryonic Stem Cell Research Causes Tumors, New Study Shows
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 23, 2006

Rochester, NY (LifeNews.com) -- Scientists working with embryonic stem cell research on animals reconfirmed what pro-life advocates have been saying for years about it. Researcher Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center said injecting embryonic stem cells into the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease would cause tumors.

Goldman's research team has been injecting the controversial cells into rats that have the disease and the cells turned into tumors afterwards.

The scientists explained their findings in an article in the latest issue of Nature Medicine. They said the embryonic stem cell injections helped some of the rats but some of the cells started growing in a manner that would eventually lead to a tumor. "The behavioral data validate the utility of the approach. But it also raises a cautionary flag and says we are not ready for prime time yet," Goldman told the Washington Post.

He conceded that considerably more research would need to be done to determine whether the tumor problems could ever be overcome. Parkinson's is a disease where dopamine-releasing cells in the brain die out, which leads to muscle dysfunction and can eventually cause paralysis. The goal of stem cell research in Parkinson's is to replace the dead cells with stem cells that form into new dopamine cells. Goldman's team used human embryonic stem cells obtained by killing days-old unborn children that were grown in a special chemical used to coax them into becoming brain cells.

The team killed the rats before they could determine that the tumors that appeared to be growing actually finished appearing and they said that any embryonic stem cell treatments on humans, which has never been tried, would have to be closely monitored. Some autopsies on the rats found tumors and that the embryonic stem cells began to grow uncontrollably rather than becoming the dopamine cells as intended. Another team led by Ole Isacson, a Harvard Medical School professor of neuroscience and neurology, published similar results earlier this month in the online journal Stem Cells and found that the embryonic stem cells also produced tumors.

Adult stem cells have not had the same problems and have been used successfully to treat dozens of diseases and conditions. But scientists have said they don't think embryonic stem cell research will lead to a cure for Parkinson's. University of Melbourne Emeritus Professor of Medicine Thomas Martin told Australian lawmakers recently that he did not think that embryonic stem cell research would even lead to cures for major diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson's.

Martin, an internationally recognized Fellow of the Royal Society, said the embryonic stem cells produced from human cloning would have the same problems.


67 posted on 10/26/2006 6:35:11 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: veronica

What don't you get about the Ali situation?


68 posted on 10/26/2006 6:38:30 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: veronica

It would appear that the Dems think that pity is an adequate criteria for choosing one party over another. I'm beginning to think that the whole party is "off their meds"


69 posted on 10/26/2006 6:39:48 AM PDT by jmcenanly
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To: Grampa Dave

Why he's a hero. Why he's such a huge media figure.


70 posted on 10/26/2006 6:46:03 AM PDT by veronica (http://www.freerepublic.com/~starcmc/)
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To: veronica

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1726267/posts

The Wrong Tree Embryonic stem cells are not all that.
http://www.nationalreview.com/ ^ | May 13, 2004, 8:58 a.m. | Wesley J. Smith


Posted on 10/26/2006 7:32:20 AM PDT by Grampa Dave


http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.p?ref=/comment/smith200405130858.asp

May 13, 2004, 8:58 a.m. The Wrong Tree Embryonic stem cells are not all that.

By Wesley J. Smith

Once again the media are trumpeting the call among many in Congress, pushed by millions in Big Biotech lobbying money, for President Bush to reverse his decision to limit federal funding of embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) to those lines already in existence on August 9, 2001. Fronted this time by the grief-stricken Nancy Reagan, and boosted by Hollywood celebrities such as Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox, and Mary Tyler Moore, we are warned darkly, as a recent New York Times editorial put it, that the existing federal-funding restrictions "are so potentially damaging to medicine" that the administration is encountering opposition to its policy even among its "own conservative supporters."

We have heard this mantra many times before but repetition does not make it true. A great deal has been learned about the potential of regenerative medicine since President Bush reached his "compromise" decision ending the stem-cell debate of 2001. And indeed, perhaps the time has come for us to revisit this issue, albeit from a different angle than suggested by ESCR boosters. Perhaps the problem with the Bush plan isn't that it provides too little federal money for ESCR, but too much — at least if our national goal is to find cures to diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, and Parkinson's in the shortest period of time.

The media is so excited about the supposed potential of embryonic stem cells that it gives far too little attention to the many and serious problems associated with this potential source of regenerative medicine. Listening to the hype, one might think that ESCR is on the verge of tremendous success. But the hard truth is that it does not appear likely that embryonic stem cells will soon become the panacea that fervid supporters of the research often claim. For example:

In animal studies, embryonic-stem-cell treatments have been found to cause tumors. In one mouse study involving an attempt to treat Parkinson's-type symptoms, more than 20 percent of the mice died from brain tumors — this despite researchers reducing the number of cells administered from the usual 100,000 to 1,000.

Tissue rejection is another major hurdle to the use of embryonic stem cells in medical treatments. This is why ESCR is known as the gateway to human cloning, since one proposed way out of this potential dilemma is to create cloned embryos of patients being treated as a source of stem cells, a process known as "therapeutic cloning." Not coincidentally, many of the same proponents who are now urging increased funding for ESCR also advocate that we legalize and publicly fund therapeutic-cloning research, which many find immoral because it creates cloned human life for the sole purpose of experimentation and destruction.

Besides being immoral, therapeutic cloning also looks to be wildly impractical. For example, a recent report published by the National Academy of Sciences warned that it could cost in the neighborhood of $200,000 just to pay for the human eggs to derive one cloned human embryonic-stem-cell line.

The above is an excerpt. Please go to the full thread for an excellent rebuttal to Fox and the other lying liberals:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1726267/posts


71 posted on 10/26/2006 7:39:01 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (There's a dwindling market for Marxist Homosexual Lunatic wet dreams posing as journalism)
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To: neverdem; veronica
The growth of the more primitive embryonic stem cells is more difficult to control and leads to tumor formation.

I had a conversation with my brother this morning about stem-cell research. He's a Republican but doesn't have time to follow issues closely. He didn't know that embryonic stem cells cause tumors. He also didn't know that there IS stem cell research going on. He seemed to think that Pres Bush banned it.

72 posted on 10/26/2006 7:57:16 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: veronica

This is how you refute MJF. WITH FACTS...not attacks on him personally.

VERY NICELY DONE. Very effective, right on the money.

BTTT.


73 posted on 10/26/2006 7:59:07 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: veronica; Grampa Dave

BUMP!


74 posted on 10/26/2006 9:07:03 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: pollyannaish
This is how you refute MJF. WITH FACTS...not attacks on him personally.

Exactly! Attacking that little scumbag Fox personally only gives the dinosaur MSM newsrooms ammo to deflect away from rational argument about the facts.

75 posted on 10/26/2006 9:09:16 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Marysecretary

WHY? Its all about keeping abortion legal, isn't it?


76 posted on 10/26/2006 9:40:24 AM PDT by attiladhun2 (Islam is a despotism so vile that it would warm the heart of Orwell's Big Brother)
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To: RexBeach

I just saw the ad last night. Shame on them is right. Fortunately, based on a small sample group of people I know at my church, at least some Democrat voting Catholics won't fall for this. They know the difference.

I just hope it shows the larger ignorance/maliciousness of the party to them.


77 posted on 10/26/2006 9:50:38 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Lancey Howard
The goal of the dems is to solidify the old-world portrayal of the GOP as a White man, redneck gun-toting, anti-woman, racist angry party of the rick...and they're MEAN SOBs.

We have made some serious inroads into changing that perception with the general public by being calm and effective. We are the party of anyone who believes in the values of this country as expressed by our Forefathers.

There is no sense in giving them fodder to reframe the debate. Attack on the facts, which are easy and solid...and don't let MJF or the dems steal the debate from us by misplaying our hand. THEY ARE BLUFFING and we know it. We must play smart.
78 posted on 10/26/2006 9:58:32 AM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: Nav_Mom
I E-Mailed Bill O'Riley and suggested he get the facts before he runs with a story based on MSM rumor.

Good for you. The big O is usually a day or two behind and his closed mind will never find the truth. He is an egotistical nut with most of his reporting. And I'm surprised with the so called staff he has that they are so misinformed.

79 posted on 10/27/2006 3:29:30 PM PDT by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: attiladhun2

I guess.


80 posted on 10/28/2006 7:34:16 PM PDT by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
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