Fun With Fact Checking
Political posturing inevitably leads to misrepresenting the facts, and the political back and forth regarding last week's stem cell debate was no exception. Given the complexity of the subject, rooting out fact from fiction was likely a difficult task for most news consumers (know the difference between a somatic stem cell and a blastocyst?) Indeed, much of the debate in Congress featured a heaping helping of misinformation about the facts of stem-cell science, but following the big news of President Bush's veto on the bill passed by Congress, Wired's Steven Edwards did us all a favor and rounded up some of the top ten most egregious inaccuracies. We'll skip right to number one:
"'Every disease Sen. Harkin listed (cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries, birth defects, severe burns) -- every disease save ALS -- has an adult stem cell or cord-blood stem-cell cure that has already been proven in humans, without using embryonic stem cells.' -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)"Says Stevens:
"False. While some researchers have reported anecdotal successes, no adult stem-cell therapies have been shown with scientific certainty to cure any of these diseases or illnesses."