Well, it has finally happened. After mounting pressure from news media and special interests, Google has decided to take action against the burgeoning stem cell industry. The company recently announced it would no longer be accepting ads from companies offering “unproven or experimental medical techniques.”
Google’s decision goes back to the same old question we’ve been debating for years: what constitutes an unproven or experimental medical procedure? Moreover, will Google engineers be making the decisions on banned ads exclusive of FDA standards or scientists with whom they happen to disagree?
If you think this isn’t a big deal, think again. Google is now placing itself in the position of determining what constitutes proven medical science. In so doing, will they take the same standards they intend to apply to stem cell therapy and apply them to nutraceutical products? Nutraceutical manufacturers had better hope not, or they could find themselves banned from Google as well.
The Same Old Story
A Washington Post story covering Google’s decision once again demonstrates a level of ignorance about stem cell therapy that is alarming. The story is filled with all the same cursory claims that stem cell therapy is untested, unproven, and dangerous. And guess what the Post used as evidence. If you guessed the Florida case involving the macular degeneration patients, you guessed correctly.
While that case certainly is tragic in every way, it does not represent the entire stem cell industry. Nor does the case from earlier in 2019 involving contaminated stem cell products. As the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute explains, those negative results arising from the improper use of stem cell therapies represent but a small fraction of the total treatments being done around the world.
What the mainstream media refuses to do is talk about the many success stories. They fail to mention that the FDA’s current regulations relating to autologous material make it completely legal for stem cell clinics to offer certain kinds of procedures. They also fail to mention that, as long as doctors and clinics stay within current FDA guidelines, the procedures they offer are completely safe.
A Little Knowledge Would Help
Google’s decision is especially frustrating because it is likely going to lead to a loss of knowledge. As they rely on artificial intelligence and human screening to get rid of ads they don’t want on their platforms, they will also be denying legitimate stem cell clinics the opportunity to introduce patients to their therapies.
A little knowledge would go a long way toward answering the many questions surrounding stem cell therapy. Unfortunately, that knowledge is already lacking. Most of the news discussing stem cell therapy presents only one side of the story. That side is the negative side, amplified to make it seem as though it is the norm.
Let’s be honest about one thing: there isn’t a single medical treatment on earth that is 100% safe and effective for everyone who tries it. Not one. Have you heard of spinal fusion surgery? It’s a good example.
You will never hear the media criticizing the procedure or the doctors who perform it. Yet not everyone who undergoes the surgery actually benefits from it. Some people end up with crippling nerve damage. Others suffer from wound infections, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other issues. And even among those who don’t suffer any serious complications, some never fully recover or regain full function.
Google has decided to take a position against stem cell therapy. The decision is a business one they have every right to make. What do you think?