Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jim Talent on Ethical Vaccines

SLC is a busy man.  And, I have to admit that I'm not always good about reading my e-mails.  Tonight I checked and found that one of Jim Talent's staffers had noted my prior posts concerning the video that he and Bob Graham put out asking why we still grow vaccines in chicken eggs (Link to #1, #2, and #3) and brought them to the Senator's attention.  Here is Jim Talent's response to my concerns:

I am Vice Chairman of the Commission on Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Terrorism and Proliferation. I know that's a mouthful. Basically, our Commission is the follow on to the 9-11 Commission. Our job is to assess the threat that terrorists will get and use weapons of mass destruction and recommend ways of preventing an attack. Our view -- and this is sobering -- is that the chance of an attack is growing, that it will reach the level of probability within five years, and that it will most likely be a bio-attack that could kill hundreds of thousands of people. 

The good news is that the danger can be reduced. One way to do that is to develop and stockpile vaccines and therapeutics to help reduce the impact of an attack with anthrax, eboli, or plague -- the three most likely bioweapons. 

That's why we launched our Faster Vaccines campaign. We are highlighting the need for new technologies for producing vaccines so that America can defend itself against an attack. The issue you raise is an important one, and I want to assure you that the new technologies we advocate in the video are developed through animal cells, not human cells.

I'm glad to hear that Talent has not sold out his Pro-Life credentials.  Thank you, Senator, for the clarification.  Keep up the good work.

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