Obama Breaks Promise of Keeping Politics Out of Science

I dunno, I guess I'm at a loss as to how bending to powerful lobbying groups is taking politics out of science. Maybe I'm just not understanding, but it seems like the opposite would be true. Also, I guess I don't quite grasp why conservative view points being enforced are considered "politics" while liberal agendas are considered "natural," and non inhibitive... In other words, banning federal dollars from stem cell research because some believe it is immoral, is injecting politics into science; yet giving federal money to kill babies is considered the hands off approach. This is a real head scratcher.

Obama injects politics — and profit — into science
By Timothy P. Carney
Examiner Columnist 3/11/09

In the name of “depoliticizing science,” President Barack Obama held an applause-filled rally before supporters Monday to declare that his administration would begin funding research that destroys healthy, living human embryos. This supposedly anti-political move was a victory for one of Washington’s most powerful industry lobbying groups.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents drugmakers and for-profit laboratories, quickly endorsed Obama’s new policy. “We fully support and are enthusiastic about President Obama’s decision to allow the National Institutes of Health to fund embryonic stem cell research,” said BIO President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Greenwood.

Financial headlines around the world indicated Greenwood and BIO’s member companies had reason to celebrate: “Industry set for stem cell profits”; “Stem cell buzz may help industry”; “Shares of Stem Cells [Inc.] rally on Obama’s news.”

Destroying human embryos to harvest stem cells has never been illegal in the United States, and many laboratories have been carrying out this sort of research for years, either with private money or with state taxpayer money. Obama’s decision gives these businesses — and any that now want to jump on the bandwagon — access to federal taxpayer money for their efforts to turn human embryos into profits.

Consider an analogy. What if President George W. Bush had announced he was lifting many restrictions on oil drilling on federal lands — on Alaska’s Northern Slope, in the Gulf of Mexico, in national parks and forests, and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts? He might have trumpeted this as “depoliticizing drilling” and “restoring geology to its rightful place.” Imagine the outrage of environmentalists — and the catcalls from Democrats charging it was a gift to the oil industry.

One important difference between this imaginary Bush story and the real Obama story: It’s nascent human beings, not virgin tundra, being trampled by Obama’s policy.

Another interesting contrast: BIO spent $7.7 million on lobbying last year, compared with $4.9 million spent by the American Petroleum Institute.

BIO is anything but “apolitical.” It is a well-connected lobbying group. Greenwood is a former member of Congress, a Pennsylvania Republican who consistently voted for and championed legalized and taxpayer-funded abortion and embryonic stem cell research. BIO employs 27 in-house lobbyists, including a former chief health counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.



Post a Comment

I reserve the right to delete profane, obscene, or otherwise insulting messages. So please, keep it clean.

While you're at it, visit our message boards!