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News Release
10/31/2014
CONTACT John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Watchdog and the Public Patent Foundation today asked the U.S Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s decision and allow the two public interest groups to seek the cancellation of a patent on human embryonic stem cells held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). In its petition, Consumer...
News Release
7/2/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson, Dan Ravicher & Jeanne Loring
WASHINGTON, DC – Two public interest groups today asked a federal appeals court to invalidate a patent on human embryonic stem cells held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) because the claimed “cell culture falls within the ‘product of nature’ exception” of what can be patented.   In a brief...
Blog Post
1/23/2013
By John M. Simpson
It looks like the message is finally getting through to California's stem cell agency board.  The board has a fundamental conflict of interest -- 13 permanent slots are for representatives of the very institutions that receive 90 percent of the funding. Consumer Watchdog has been pointing out this flaw since the passage of Proposition 71...
News Release
12/6/2012
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog Thursday welcomed a report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) calling for sweeping reforms in governance at California’s stem cell agency and an end to the board’s built-in conflicts of interest.   The report said that “far too many board members represent...
News Release
5/3/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: John M. Simpson, cell; (310) 292-1902; or Dan Ravicher, (212) 461-1902
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In what two consumer groups today praised as a victory for open scientific inquiry, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a controversial patent on human embryonic stem cells held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). “This is a major victory for unfettered scientific research that could lead to...
Blog Post
2/11/2010
Posted by John M. Simpson
I got a phone call this week from Bob Klein, chairman of the California stem cell agency and its board's attorney, James Harrison. They wanted to make sure I understood that there is no fixed, 10-year life span for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. There is no sunset provision. I told them I knew that, but agreed many people seem...
Blog Post
12/10/2009
Posted by John M. Simpson
After only nine months on the job as vice chair of California's stem cell agency, former State Democratic Chairman Art Torres has had his salary tripled. The unanimous decision of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) shows a board wildly out of touch with the realities of a state mired in financial crisis with record unemployment...
Blog Post
8/21/2009
Posted by John M. Simpson
Between voting to reject most of the recommendations from the state's good government panel and handing out $16 million in grants to stem cell researchers, the stem cell agency's board ventured into one of the hottest debates of the summer this week. Acting on a motion by member Jeff Sheehy, the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC)...
Blog Post
8/19/2009
Posted by John M. Simpson
Proposed changes in the California stem cell agency's regulations that would have created loopholes allowing some businesses to avoid rules to ensure affordable access to therapies funded by public money have been thwarted. I raised the alarm Tuesday and the looming loophole apparently has been slammed shut.  I got a call from stem cell...
News Release
6/26/2009
CONTACT CONTACT: John M. Simpson, 310-392-0522, ext. 317; or cell 310-292-1902
Key 'Little Hoover' Recommendations Follow Consumer Watchdog's Proposals Santa Monica, CA -- California’s good government agency, The Little Hoover Commission, today called for management and structural reforms at the state stem cell agency after an eight-month study.  Key Commission recommendations follow many proposals made by...