Legislation financing Missouri’s surge into the a nationally competitive position for bioscience research has turned into attacks on a prominent critic of the idea.

The Senate has started debating creation of the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Authority. It would set up a way to underwrite some of the costs of companies wanting to launch major bioscience laboratories and businesses. Supporters say the authority and its funding will be the key to investment in major research programs and facilities.

But one organization that claims the research might lead to stem cell research has drawn some scornful reactions during debate. Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington tells sponsor Tom Dempsey of St. Peters the credibility of Missouri Right to life continues to decline at the Capitol–and its position on this issue is one reason for it. .Do you know why? Is it the cloning of the seed or the fact that it’s got "science in it’s name?" Engler asks, "I wish somebody with some semblance of sense would start speaking for them because they’ve taken an organization that was very powerful up here and very meaningful and rendered theirselves [sic] irrelevant"—because, says Engler, of the group’s extreme positions. Other supporters say Dempsey’s bill is carefully worded to deal with financing of plant and animal research and it would be a stretch to think the bill might possibly allow stem cell research, some of which is protected by the state constitution anyway.

Debate has just started on Dempsey’s bill.

The link to the Senate page for SB572



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