Fraudulent Stem Cell Claims Worry Scientists

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While few doubt the promise of stem cells in the treatment of a host of diseases and conditions, false claims are cropping up that stem cells can cure everything from paralysis to old age.

Clinics in the U.S. and abroad are offering stem cell treatments they inaccurately claim to treat everything from spinal-cord injuries to Parkinson's disease.

Bioethicist Art Caplan writes that scientists who have tried to set the record straight have been bullied to keep quiet.

As evidence, Caplan points to the fact that a well-respected not-for-profit recently stopped offering a service to consumers in response to legal pressure from stem cell clinics.

Until recently, the International Society for Stem Cell Research vetted claims by clinics offering stem cell treatments and provided the information to consumers, but after being inundated by lawsuits from the clinics, the organization ended the service.

Scientists fear the false claims perpetuated on the Internet prey on vulnerable consumers looking for a long-shot cure to any number of conditions.


  • Art Caplan, University of Pennsylvania bioethicist

This segment aired on July 19, 2011.


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