Of course, this kind of research could be going on in this country, but as Michael Specter wrote in his terrific article in the March 13th issue of The New Yorker:
"The war over the ethics of using embryos in research has proven costly to American medicine. Not only has it slowed the pace of progress but for the first time other countries have moved ahead of the U.S. The United Kingdom, for example, has established several centers for stem-cell scientists. The ban (on research into new stem cell lines) has also discouraged researchers from contemplating careers in what would otherwise be considered the most exciting area of medicine. Nobody disputes the promise of stem cell research, yet the moral complications that surround it are also real, and unlikely to soon disappear."Also, according to C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General in the Reagan Administration (quoted in the article, who actually turned out to be a good choice, confounding the right-wing nut jobs):
"I have been away for some time, and I am more of a spectator now...but stem cell research is as volatile as any subject can get. People are completely driven by their beliefs or their desires. Not the facts. Scientists have hyped it, and often they act as if there were no ethical considerations at all. That is not true. But you have to weigh the facts, and (the Bush) Administration doesn't seem to take that approach. One thing I have learned is that belief doesn't change reality."Speaking of reality (once more from Specter's article)...
"My friends in the European Union are ecstatic," (Alan) Leshner (the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) said. "Between the visa problems - preventing the best students from India and China from entering this country to study or work - and the stem cell ban, our competitors are just in heaven. While we are restricting research, the E.U. is working hard on ways to increase mobility. They are welcoming scientists from other countries. They are not fools."As opposed to us.