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Fact sheet disowned by two government agencies.



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Fact sheet disowned by two government agencies

A fact sheet was disowned by two government agencies today - both of which had their logo displayed prominently on the publication. Senator Brian Harradine asked questions in two Senate estimates committees today about the lack of balance in a fact sheet on Stem Cells.

This morning Biotechnology Australia’s initial reaction when questioned about the content of the fact sheet was to point to the involvement of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

This afternoon, when representatives of the NHMRC were asked about the same fact sheet, they stated that while they had been involved in drafting the sheet, they had not signed off on it.

The fact sheet has been on the Biotechnology Australia website since May 2003.

“I just wanted someone to address my concerns about the lack of balance the fact sheet shows by downplaying the success of treatments using adult stem cells”, Senator Harradine said. “I didn’t realise that agencies with their logos on the sheet would be so eager to flick-pass the issue.”

The fact sheet states that “… there is even some doubt that adult stem cells have any potential at all”, yet Senator Harradine was able to provide the Senate Economics Legislation Committee with a list of dozens of peer reviewed journal references documenting successful adult stem cell therapies where patients have been treated with their own stem cells.

A copy of the fact sheet (fact sheet number 26) can be downloaded from the Biotechnology Australia website at: http://www.biotechnology.gov.au/

5 November 2003

Senator Brian Harradine, Tel. 02 6277 3735