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Not With My Tax Dollars You Don’t!

By Annie Fowler, guest blogger and MRL Western Region chapter member.

All sorts of ill-conceived, unethical wrongdoing can be accomplished under the recently passed SB 7, The Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), due to its inadequate reporting mechanism and funding arrangement history. The potential for taxpayer-blessed dollars to be used for exploitive, unethical human cloning and embryonic stem cell research is very real. MOSIRA contains a reporting provision which, in effect, creates immunity for agencies which participate in ethically objectionable “true cloning”—such as somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Because of the faulty language currently contained in section 38 (d) of the Missouri Constitution, which only limitedly defines cloning as the implantation of a clone into a woman’s uterus, it lacks the necessary enforcement teeth to address other legitimately ethical research concerns. The after-the-fact reporting provision in the SB 7 coupled with only a ten-day window in which legislators may respond stymies any future investigative processes which may be warranted.

Missourians everywhere agree that a clone implantation must be legally prevented. However, Missourians also agree that a human embryo who is virtually genetically identical to an existing or previously existing human being who is “created” under any conditions also must be protected by the full measure of our law. The above-referenced section 38 (d) is commonly known in Missouri as Amendment 2, and it was passed on a fast track powered by misinformation. Doctors, citizens, biologists mounted an effort to slow the process and to require careful evaluation of the scientific evidence, but trickery prevailed. Now it is coming back to haunt us!

The history of the cozy little connection between MOSIRA and the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) goes like this: A fund was created that can be used for human life science research by tech businesses. It is administered by a quasi-government agency which has been a front-runner for pro-cloning efforts. The fund is channeled through our state budget process and supplied with state money—our tax dollars. MOSIRA is the fund, MTC is the controlling administrator, and our elected Missouri legislators are the overseers of the state budget process.

Do you want your Missouri tax dollars contributing to this type of life science research? What Missourians want to support is the use of ethical adult stem cell-based regenerative medicine research with its track record of successful human and humane therapies.

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