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Fair Political Practices Commission Will Investigate Stem Cell Conflict of Interest
Date:12/10/2007

st course for Reed would be to resign, Simpson said at a minimum the Burnham executive and his representative to the board in his absence, Jeannie Fontana, should be barred from taking part in any stem cell board deliberations while the FPPC probe continues.

FTCR also said the stem cell agency should disclose which board members' actions led to the rejection of the ten young faculty award applications.

"Failure to act promptly and appropriately to restore the public's trust can only damage the institute," said Simpson. "The members of the oversight board are intelligent people. I cannot fathom their propensity to keep shooting themselves in the foot."

Proposition 71, passed by 59 percent of Californians in 2004, created an oversight board fraught with potential conflicts of interest. "Most of the people handing out the money are the very same people from the institutions that get the money," said Simpson. "That means the conflict rules in place must be strictly adhered to and there must be consequences when they are violated. 'Golly, we meant well and will do better next time' simply does not cut it."

FTCR's Stem Cell Oversight and Accountability Project is working to ensure that California's landmark stem cell research program offers accessible and affordable cures and treatments to the taxpayers who have funded it. The program will award $3 billion in grants over a decade. Bond financing charges mean the project, the largest source of stem cell research funding in the world, will cost California taxpayers $6 billion.


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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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