In 2004 California voters, their eyes full of the promise of stem cell therapies, passed Proposition 71, to establish a multi-billion dollar research agency designed to change the face of medical research. That agency became the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. But most of the money handed out by the agency goes to institutions that employ the agency’s directors.
Writing this week in the Sacramento Bee, David Jensen, producer of the California Stem Cell Report blog, details how Proposition 71 essentially built this conflict of interest in from the start. Most members of the governing board have ties to institutions that benefit from agency money.