The pro-cloning Stowers Institute has finally decided to proceed with a $25 million expansion in south Kansas City. But they are still holding off expanding a much larger campus for the institute because they are concerned that Missouri is still not “science friendly”, despite the fact that they succeeded in buying constitutional amendment protecting any and all “stem cell research”, including cloning. So one has to wonder, what, then, does it take for a state to receive the coveted “science friendly” crown?
The answer: $$$$$. Biotech companies convince state Governments that their business will give the state a much needed economic boost in exchange for the states’ unquestioning financial support. Much of it has more to do with expanding research facilities and creating jobs than anything else. And many states, vying for the elusive “science friendly” coronation, are all too willing to comply. California raised the bar in 2004 with prop. 71 – their plan to spend $3 billion of taxpayer’s money on cloning research. Since then states have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the biotech industry, specifically for the purpose of “stem cell research”. Last year NJ passed a $450 million bond referendum to finance stem cell research grants (but voters rejected the measure), a few years ago KS passed an economic growth initiative expected to generate more than $580 million over more than a decade for the biosciences, NY has set aside $600 million for such research and in Mass. lawmakers are expected to vote on Governor Deval Patrick’s whopping $1 billion life sciences initiative.
What about Missouri? From this story:
A study commissioned by the life sciences institute (most likely Stowers) initially identified a site on the Missouri side of the state line as the preferred location for a new incubator facility that would provide laboratories and offices for promising young biotech companies.
In the end, however, the institute leaders identified a Kansas location as the No. 1 option, in large part because of a lack of financing options in Missouri.
Business leaders increasingly are pressing state lawmakers to recognize and respond to these types of funding challenges, said Peter Levi, president of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
The report showing that Missouri is lagging behind investments made by many other states has spawned an effort called the Grow Me State Initiative. This week, Levi said, he joined business executives from across the state in Jefferson City to talk with state leaders about closing gaps identified in the study.
As I pointed out the other day, this is about money and nothing else. Originally the Stowers Institute, who claims their business is essential to growing Missouri’s economy, said they would expand as long as a cloning ban was defeated in the Senate (in 2005), it was. Then they said all that was needed for Missouri to prove itself “science friendly” was the passage of amendment 2, it passed. Now, despite the fact that Missouri is the only state in the Nation which protects ALL forms of “stem cell research”, including that which involves the creation, use and destruction of human embryos, as a constitutional right for which “all state and local laws, regulations, rules, charters, ordinances, and other governmental actions shall be construed in favor of” (38(d) sec. 7), we are still “lagging behind” in support for life sciences. All because the taxpayers aren’t spending enough money on this life destroying research.
The intentional creation, use and destruction of human life, through cloning and ESC research violates the inherent dignity of all human life (at any stage). To go forward with such research then is not real scientific progress but a serious threat for man and the world and supporting it (financially or otherwise) should never be considered “science friendly”.
See previous post:
When Technical Progress Becomes a Threat