Harvard Scientists Say White House Distorted Their Research On Stem Cells

In Aug. 2005, researchers at Harvard University developed a way to turn “ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells — without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process.”

This month, the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) put out a report citing this research as evidence that embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary.

But according to the authors of the Harvard study, the White House has distorted their research. In a letter to Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Mike Castle (R-DE), the authors write:

We are surprised to see our work on reprogramming adult stem cells used to support arguments that research involving human embryonic stem cells is unnecessary. On the contrary, we assert that human embryonic stem cells hold great promise to find new treatments and cures for diseases. …

The work that we performed and that was cited in the White House policy report is precisely the type of research that is currently being harmed by the President’s arbitrary limitation on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. …

We feel that the President’s restrictive policy has directly impeded research that provides a hope for cures for millions of Americans. …

The White House has clearly gotten it wrong. The overwhelming consensus in the scientific and medical community is that embryonic stem cell research holds the greatest potential to cure diseases and end the suffering of millions.

Read the full letter HERE.

(American Progress’s Jonathan Moreno and Samuel Berger have more on the DPC’s distortions.)