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May 17, 2002
The following is a press release issued on May 14, 2002 by Congressman Joe Pitts concerning the misapplication of federal funds by Advanced Cell Technology. Please convey your appreciation to Congressman Pitts who is a stalwart and consistent friend to the pro-life cause. 202/225-2411

Rep. Pitts blasts cloning firm for misuse of government funds
HHS Inspector General calls on ACT to return $150,000 
Washington-Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) sharply criticized Advanced Cell Technology today, following revelations that the firm has been using federal grant money for unallowable expenses. ACT announced in November that it had already cloned human embryos and intended to continue its pursuit of human cloning. The misuse of funds was discovered by the Department of Health and Human Services after an investigation requested in December by Congressman Pitts and 30 colleagues.

"ACT is involved in unethical research that 80 to 90 percent of the American people want to see banned," said Congressman Pitts. "I was shocked when I found out last year that millions of taxpayer dollars were supporting this company's research. That's why we asked for an audit. It turns out that more than half the grant money they've used to date has been misspent. I suppose it's no surprise that their finances are as questionable as their ethics."

Michael J. Armstrong, HHS Region I Inspector General for Audit Services, sent his report to ACT President West on April 26. In it he says, "Based upon our review, we found that $149,917 of the $214,146 in direct costs claimed to date for the three NIH grant awards are for unallowable costs." Armstrong urged ACT to refund the misspent money to HHS.

Armstrong further recommended "that ACT refrain from charging the NIH-funded grant awards additional costs until ACT is able to...fully implement effective accounting policies and procedures."

The HHS report is available on Congressman Pitts' Web site at www.house.gov/pitts

Life Advocacy Briefing, 5/13/02, Called This “QUOTEWORTHY,” and It Is 
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, quoted in the Washington Post on human cloning for biomedical experimentation: "Yesterday it was yes to stem cells with solemn assurances that there would be no embryo manufacture. Today we are told: Forget what we said about embryo manufacture; we now solemnly pledge that we will experiment on only the tiniest cloned embryo and never grow it -- and use it -- beyond that early 'blastocyst' stage. What confidence can one possibly have in these new assurances? This is not a slide down the slippery slope. This is downhill skiing."

Let the Tiny Babies Live! Progress is in Adult Stem Cell Research! 
University of Minnesota researchers, led by Dr. Catherine Verfaillie, director of the university’s Stem Cell Institute, have announced their success in coaxing adult bone marrow stem cells into becoming functioning liver cells, a discovery revealing the potential of adult stem cells to replace any perceived need to experiment on cells obtained by killing human embryos.

According to a story by Tom Majeski, (Knight Ridder News Service, 5/15/02), the first-of-its-kind discovery, published in the May 15th edition of the “Journal of Clinical Investigations,” opens the door to a number of potential uses, including treating genetic and other liver diseases, creating bioartificial livers that could be used as bridges to transplants and enabling pharmaceutical companies to screen new drugs for liver toxicity and efficiency prior to testing them on humans.

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