Menlo Park, CA – Geron, the first biotech firm in the U.S. to receive FDA approval to test human embryonic stem cells on patients, announced that it has shut down its life-destructive human embryonic stem cell program citing a lack of funding.
Operation Rescue calls this a victory that was 12 years in the making. In 1999, Operation Rescue was the first to expose Geron for its then little-known experimentation with live human embryos, and led the first ever protest of a biotech laboratory for the unethical experimentation on live human embryos.
“Geron is abandoning its prized human embryonic stem cell program because it doesn’t work,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “If it did work, there is no way they would abandon 13 years of effort, time, and money because there would be huge profits to take once clinical trials were over. To say they can no longer fund the project is to admit that human embryonic stem cell treatments do not work.”
Operation Rescue has a long history of denouncing human embryonic experimentation and advocating for research involving adult stem cells, which have always shown more promise than cells derived from killing human embryos. Harvesting adult stem cells causes no harm to the patient.
“When we discovered what Geron was doing and began to expose it, few people even knew what a stem cell was,” said Newman.
After their ground-breaking protest at Geron’s Menlo Park laboratory in 1999, Operation Rescue released a booklet on the ethical issues of human stem cell experimentation and cloning. In June of 2001, Operation Rescue led protests at an important Biotech conference in San Diego, exposing the involvement of Johnson & Johnson in human embryonic experimentation.
President George W. Bush placed limits on the use of human embryonic stem cell lines in August, 2001, but did not completely ban live human embryonic stem cell experimentation.
In early September, 2001, Operation Rescue led a series of protests in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Health and Human Services and at the White House, urging the government to do more to protect human beings from life-destructive experimentation.
In 2009, President Barack Obama issued an order reversing the Bush-era restrictions. In that year, Geron received approval to begin testing of their so-called “treatments” on human patients.
Now, with the abandonment of Geron’s human embryonic stem cell program, the future of such experimentation is now, thankfully, in doubt.
“Even if some cure using human embryonic tissue was ever to be found, which now looks more unlikely than ever, the price paid in loss of human life makes that kind of experimentation totally unacceptable. We trust that the world’s scientists are bright enough to find another ways to deal with the world’s ills than to kill innocent children at their earliest stages of development in a dubious and uncertain quest for knowledge,” said Newman.