My friend, James Dobson, PhD, alerted me to a story in the LA Times reporting the first successful neural stem cell transplant into the brains of four young boys. At least one columnist thinks it’s likely these were cells from aborted babies. Were the parents even informed? This is not only shocking, but sickening.Here are the details from LifeNews:
Four boys have had neural stem cells injected into their brains in a trial to treat the rare genetic disorder Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. The study is being conducted at University California San Francisco and the results published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Or course the LA Times does not mention where these neural stem cells came from. Anytime I see “neural stem cell” I get suspicious that they have been derived from human fetal brain tissue, in other words the brains of aborted fetuses.
So I dug a little deeper. First, I found the abstract for the study mentioned by the LA Times. The paper mentions that they transplanted “human central nervous system stem cells (HuCNS-SCs)” into the frontal lobe white matter of these boys.
But what are HuCNS-SCs? They are proprietary stem cells developed and provided by StemCells Inc., a California company. StemCells Inc., on a web page listing publications about their HuCNS-SC product, has a link to a paper that clearly states that HuCNS-SCs were isolated from “fresh human fetal brain tissue.” (Uchida N, et al., Direct Isolation of Human Neural Stem Cell from Fetal Brain by Cell Sorting. PNAS, December 2000)
The other paper on HuCNS-SCs cited by StemCell Inc.’s states that their “Human fetal brains (FBr) were obtained from Advance Bioscience Resources, in accordance with all state and federal guidelines.” (Tamaki S, et al., Engraftment of Sorted/Expanded Human CNS Stem Cells from Fetal Brain Engraftment of Sorted/Expanded Human CNS Stem Cells from Fetal Brain. Journal of Neuroscience Research, August 2002)
In an 2001 expose of the use of tissue from 20 week-old aborted fetuses in government-funded research, WorldNetDaily, revealed correspondence with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where the NIH admitted, “Abortions are coordinated through the Anatomic Gift Foundation and Advanced Bioscience Resources, suppliers of fetal tissue, the method of abortion is not known to the investigator.”
So I am pretty sure StemCells Inc. gets it “fresh human fetal brain tissue” from elective abortion. And I have to wonder if they are continually procuring aborted babies from Advance Bioscience Resources.
And StemCells Inc. tout that they have plans to use their “HuCNS-SC product candidate” to treat spinal cord injury, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
I also wonder if the parents of these boys were informed where the neural stem cells that were implanted into their child’s brain came from. I hope they were. If they were not, they should have been.
With StemCells Inc.’s future plans to use their HuCNS-SCs for other more common diseases, and with other companies like ReNeuron and NeuralStem continuing to use aborted fetal tissue for their research, legislation that requires disclosure when a product is derived from or developed with aborted fetal tissue is long over due.
Children of God for Life already has proposed legislation that would do just that. It is called the The Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Act. It would, among other things:
“require the manufacturers and distributors to provide information if the development or manufacture of their product uses aborted fetal material in any form including but not limited to cells, cell lines, tissues, DNA, recombinant DNA, monoclonal antibodies, blood, proteins or components thereof, in manufacturing or development.”
It would also help if the media did a bit more digging and found out exactly where companies are getting their “raw materials” instead of just stopping at the feel good story. Without the proper knowledge the public cannot object to the use of the bodies of the innocent whose lives have been cut short and ask for researchers and companies to use alternatives.
A fetus is now considered no more than just tissue and therefore researchers and research companies may not feel they need to inform patients about where their product originated: from elective abortion. This is an inconvenient fact that would matter greatly to a great many people. If we were informed.