By Wesley J. Smith
Embryonic stem cell hypers have themselves to blame for the apparent proliferation of stem cell fraud.
You see, in order to win the ESCR political debate, harm President Bush’s popularity, and gain billions in research dollars, universities, scientists, bioethicists, sector advocacy groups, and Big Biotech PR departments–amplified by an in the tank media–pushed imminent CURES! CURES! CURES! that would soon have children leaping out of wheelchairs and Uncle Al dancing a jig after his Parkinson’s abated.
Except it mostly was blown smoke–certainly within the time frame implied or promised by the ESCR hypers.
Still, with movie stars testifying before Congress, a president’s son speaking at the Democrat Convention, and celebrity advocacy ads, the message that stem cells are magic imbedded deeply in the collective consciousness. And now, stem cell fraud suckers people all over the world with false promise of stem cell miracles.
From the MedCity News story, “Stem Cell Clinics Peddle Snake Oil–but the Market’s Growing Fast:
“There’s a lot of snake oil in stem cells.” That’s the mantra of Dr. Larry Goldstein, director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at University of California, San Diego, who always cautions that selling hope with false promises is big business among stem cell clinics.
He’s bullish on the therapeutic potential of stem cells, but consistently urges skepticism. If it’s too good to be true, it invariably is.
A duo of new Associated Press articles highlight this concept, as does a recent Los Angeles Times piece on how a Malibu psychiatrist with a revoked medical license is still peddling stem cell cures – abroad, and with little repercussion.
So, when assorted stem cell experts look down their collective nose at the suckers buying into stem cell quackery (I am not including Goldstein) they should look into the mirror. People were sold a bill of goods and they are still buying.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.