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California Stem Cell Research Poetry Contest Winners Yanked

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by hearit

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In The News

Stem cell research and its efforts may be deemed a worthy cause by many—but attempts to lighten heaviness has backfired for the California state agency in charge of managing the $3 billion research fund. It seems poetry is not considered progress—not for stem cells anyway.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) thought a poetry contest—to commemorate Stem Cell Awareness Day—would benefit the cause. The organization instead ended up pulling the winning entries from its website due to “religious language” contained in one of the poetic works received.

Submitted poem "Stem C." begins, "This is my body/which is given for you," and ends with, "Take this/in remembrance of me."—echoing language derived and used for Holy Communion in many Christian churches. California Family Council is considered at the least to be conservative—the organization calling the “Stem C.” poem submission "blasphemous".

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine yanked winners from the stem cell poetry contest following the debate and potential for bad PR—apologizing via statement for any offense the poem may have caused.

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