Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Rights to Embryos in United States---Should there be?

Some countries such as Germany and Italy have laws that protect the human embryo, making it illegal to create embryos from IVF without purposeful intentions to transfer them for birth. But the United States has no such laws, giving IVF clinics an open range with no regulations and oversight. This lack of regulation in the U.S. has caused an ethical dilemma.

Scientist and IVF specialists in the United States have intentionally created close to a half a million IVF embryos, frozen in limbo, with no predetermined intention to transfer them into their mother for birth. Now U.S. scientists are justifying the use of these surplus frozen embryos for experimental research, labeling them as “biohazard laboratory waste” with no other purpose but experimental. Many bioethicists find this unethical.

Should IVF clinics and human embryonic stem cell research have stricter oversight? Should the United States limit the number of embryos created by IVF and mandate that it is illegal to create and freeze extra IVF embryos without intentions of transferring those embryos back into the mother?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


An article from the associated press, by Nicole Winfield entitled, "Vatican warns of ethical risks with gene progress" discusses the hidden resurgence of eugenics through pre-genetic screening......

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican official warned on Tuesday that advances in genetic testing were creating a slow but "relentless" spread of a eugenics mentality — the effort to improve the quality of the human race by controlling heredity.
Monsignor Rino Fisichella made the warning as he outlined the scope of an upcoming Vatican conference, "The New Frontiers of Genetics and the Risk of Eugenics," which starts Friday.
Fisichella acknowledged that the term eugenics harks back to the past, when most famously the Nazis used eugenic theories to justify forced sterilization and other practices in their quest to establish a master race. For

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dangers with Embryonic Stem Cell Clinical Trials

Here is a picture of a teratoma, a type of germ cell tumor, which has often been found associated with the use of embryonic stem cells in animal studies. These teratomas can contain mature processes such as limbs, hair, muscle and bone.

Today a story in Nature News provides an article entitled "Tumours spark stem cell review". In the Nature News article, they discover that a young boy who had received treatments of fetal neural stem cells for a neurodegernerative disease (ataxia telangiectasia) in Moscow was found riddled with tumors in his brain and spinal cord. The tumors came from his fetal neural stem cell treatment.
These types of dangers from embyronic stem cell treatments are widely known within the scientific community, but often are not discussed. Persons entering into future clinical trials with embryonic stem cells should understand the risks invovled. They are substantial.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gardasil Vaccine Recalled in Spain-Adverse Reactions Seen.

Spain Recalls Batch of Gardasil Vaccine Following Serious Adverse Reactions
February 11, 2009
by Cara McDonough
The country has withdrawn tens of thousands of doses of Gardasil after the hospitalization of two teenage girls, reinforcing critics’ doubts about the safety of the vaccine.
Serious Complications after Gardasil Vaccinations
Two teenage girls from the eastern Valencia region reportedly fell ill on Feb. 6 just hours after receiving the Gardasil vaccine, and they were hospitalized. One of the girls was released from intensive care this weekend, while the other remains there, according to a government statement. The girls, who received shots from the same batch of Gardasil, are in stable condition.

For here.

Depleted Uranium Contamination-People Left to Die

See link on documentary produced on people exposed to depleted uranium and left to die.

Stifling Public Access to Publically-Funded Scientific Research

A new legislation, H.R.801: the “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act” has been re-introduced by John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan. This act will limit public access to publically funded scientific publications. Call your representatives to vote NO.

Please see The Alliance for Taxpayer Access website for more information and a call to action to stop this bill:

Also see this site:

Whistleblower David Bell Tells His Story of Unsafe Work Conditions, Lack of Biotech Worker’s Rights and Acquired Illness after Working at Agraquest

After an exposure to a mysterious biological material labeled, AQ153 in January 1999 at a biotech company called Agraquest, David Bell and all his co-biotech lab workers became ill to the point that the laboratory had to be temporarily closed. David Bell unfortunately lapsed into a serious illness requiring several life-saving surgeries. He remains chronically ill today and believes Agraquest should be held responsible.

His story depicts the dangers in the biotech industry and the unsafe work conditions imposed upon biotech workers. It details the lack of regulations on the biotech industry resulting in serious public health and safety threats. His story provides a clear case documenting the lack of safety rights, lack of rights to access pertinent exposure records for healthcare and the lack of directed medical care for the injured biotech worker. Conflicts of interests between government, doctors and private industry add to the difficulties that David Bell faced, making it impossible for him to receive directed healthcare for his exposure or to have legal remedies through civil action, worker’s compensation, OSHA or any other government agency.

David Bell’s story is a testimony to the fact that Biotech workers have no rights to safety or healthcare and remain abandoned by government and the biotech industry.

After nine years, David is still struggling to discover what he was exposed to at Agraquest which has made him so sick. His story brings to light serious public health concerns, not only for worker, but for the community at large.

See David Bell’s interview hosted by Mr. Steve Zeltzer (Labor on the Job)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SAFETY OR MONEY WHILE ON THE JOB? Do you have a choice?

In a statement in an article entitled, US Oil Workers Reach Wage Terms; Criticise Industry’s Overall Safety , the United Oil Workers said,

“Rather than launch a national strike over health and safety that would have hurt the American people at a time of economic crisis, the USW withdrew its health and safety proposal and focused on the economic package.”

Do you think that the United Steelworkers (USW) were ethically correct to focus their negotiations on their economic package while disregarding serious health and safety problems in the workplace?

Do you think in our dire times of economic woe that more and more employers will subject their workers to unsafe work conditions because they can?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


With so much public outrage and emotions and ethical debate over the recent birth of octuplets from a 33- year old woman who underwent IVF treatment, why the heck is this IVF clinic allowed to remain anonymous?

Something smells fishy in the hen house.

Why did a woman with 6 children get paid to undergo fertility treatments resulting in octuplets? What's even more interesting is...who paid her? Did she receive payment in compensation to provide extra eggs to the human embryonic stem cell community for research? Or did she perhaps undergo a new IVF infertility treatment in exchange for payment which inadvertently resulted in multiplication of the embryos? Or did this mysterious IVF clinic really transfer 8 embryos from test tube to mother against recommended safety guidelines?

One can only comment so much on the ethics of the situation; but without the facts, it is hard to know what to do or think about the situation. The public should demand answers.

It is the time for the IVF clinic to come out of hiding. The lack of transparency of the IVF clinic’s role is just bad science. They have had enough time to rearrange their paperwork and to get all their “eggs” in a row. Come out, come out, where ever you are....


Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, recently called for an investigation of the National Science Foundation (NSF) after several leading scientists were caught spending a significant amount of government time “viewing porn and engaging in sexually explicit online chats” resulting in the waste of tens of thousands of dollars of tax payer’s dollars. Senator Grassley’s investigation comes at a time when Congress is about to give NSF a $3 Billion dollar cash payout associated with the stimulus bill which is up and beyond their $6 Billion dollar annual budget. But downloading pornography should not be the only concern regarding misappropriated time and resources occurring at NSF.

NSF’s dangerous disregard and utter complacency toward public health and safety should also be a main concern for the public.

NSF is a federal government research agency whose mission is to promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense. They do this by coordinating and awarding federal grants to support basic research and education in science and engineering within the academic community.

Unfortunately NSF priorities are not aligned with the public’s health and safety needs. Research programs are funded without promoting appropriate public safeguards. And as technologies advance, working scientist’s safety rights and consumer safety rights are desperately lacking, especially in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Commendation should go to Senator Grassley for his insight to probe into NSF’s waste of time and resources of taxpayer’s money. Let’s hope this investigation will not only result in cleaning up NSF’s computers, but also make NSF come to better understand the public’s expectations. One such expectation is to support and ensure public health and safety and scientist’s safety rights as NSF funds advancing technological breakthroughs in basic research.

Monday, February 2, 2009


FROM RATS AND QUICKLY TO HUMANS…A new experimental human embryonic stem cell therapy which is touted to possibly repair spinal chord damage has undergone very little pre-clinical trial efficacy studies. In fact those studies have been limited to mice only, and not larger animals. Despite the limited efficacy studies for this new therapy, the FDA has given approval for the first human clinical trial. The approval was granted directly after Obama’s inauguration making some feel that it was politically motivated.

What patients should know is that human embryonic stem cell clinical trials and research is experimental. Embryonic stem cell therapy has been hyped and painted as the future “miracle cure” for all diseases backed only by speculative theory without any substantive scientific evidence. Presently, human embryonic stem cell trials offer more danger than possible cures to the patients who enlist in them.

Let’s hope that these patients who enter human embryonic stem cell trials are counseled ethically regarding these dangers and will not suffer as they did in the controversial human gene therapy trials in the past where patients were lead to believe their treatment was safe, but died instead.