'Stem cell laws mean more than Nygard'


Tribune Staff Reporter


FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell believes the passage of stem cell regulations is a far more important issue for Bahamians than fashion tycoon Peter Nygard’s support for the move.

Since it was confirmed in Parliament that the government would forge ahead with a legal framework for stem cell research, discussions have been largely overshadowed by concerns about the extent of Mr Nygard’s involvement – which Mr Mitchell said does not surprise him.

But he insisted that the government will continue to pursue plans to see the Bill passed despite the push-back from FNM MPs.

“The Bill will be passed (and) that will end that,” Mr Mitchell said.

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis first raised the question of the driving force behind the government’s decision to see the Stem Cell Bill passed.

The issue has since sparked several contentious House sessions.

Earlier this week, Dr Minnis caused proceedings to be adjourned until August 7 after he disobeyed House Speaker Dr Kendal Major’s orders to take his seat.

At the time, he said he was attempting to reveal information that would confirm Mr Nygard’s relationship with the PLP.

He had previously been ordered to withdraw offensive remarks but refused.

Dr Major said that Dr Minnis would not be allowed to Speak in the House until he either showed proof of his claims, or withdrew them.

The FNM leader has not done either in parliament, but held a press conference at which he alluded to an affidavit signed by Mr Nygard in which the fashion designer named himself a major backer of the PLP.

Before this, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn suggested that in exchange for financially backing the PLP in the lead-up to the May 2012 election, Mr Nygard had been promised citizenship and the settling of matters involving the reclamation of land around his residence.

Mr Lightbourn said it was speculated that Mr Nygard gave the PLP $5 million to finance their campaign.

Prime Minister Perry Christie has twice promised to set the record straight once he stood on Parliament’s floor.

And twice, Mr Christie attended Parliamentary sessions but did not speak before the government side suspending proceedings.

Meanwhile, Mr Nygard – who has spoken publicly on the matter repeatedly – confirmed that he had donated money to both political parties.

The FNM has denied accepting any money from the Lyford Cay resident.

Mr Nygard later clarified during a trip to Grand Bahamas, saying he did donate $5 million, but this was to stem cell research, not the PLP government.


John 10 years, 4 months ago

The problem with drugs and new medicine is that I will always be abuses and misused. OK take for example there is no cure for AIDS..none! But thee are medications and treatments available that can help a person infected with aids to live an almost normal lie. This is a good thing for the person who is infected as it helps them to live a near normal life, to endure less suffering and to have a longer life expectancy. But what is the wholesale effect on society. Firstly since infected persons no longer see AIDS as a death sentence and since they may not show no outward effects of having the disease they may go back to their old habits, being promiscuous and sleeping around with everyone. This is not good because thy will spread the disease and infect even more persons. Then since there is little or no evidence of AIDS, no one walking around full of sores or looking like a skeleton, or no one in the AIDS ward loosing their ability to get up out of bed, losing their eyesight and their minds, then healthy people may also become careless ad less concerned about catching the disease and a society can have a castrophobic situation on their hands in the matter of a few short years. Likewise if e look at stem cell as the miracle cure all it can reduce the value one places on life. And if embryos are needed they will be produced for the purpose, black market or elsewhere regulations or none.


commenter 10 years, 3 months ago

This comment is completely contrary to the actual science of HIV prevention . Persons with HIV who are tested and treated with life saving treatments are far less likely to transmit HIV infection than those left untreated. In fact if every single Bahamian living with HIV was tested and treated and if the entire populace was adequately educated about HIV the transmission rate would approach and perhaps be reduced to 0. The ignorance and stigmatization evidenced by comments like this directly contributes to the "catastrophic situation" that has been going on for 30 years.


david2323 10 years, 4 months ago

Mr nygard help me. Need to have a money manager arrested until he returns my $250k My account balance. Thanks & good luck to you.


proudloudandfnm 10 years, 4 months ago

Just remember a man that operates the most expensive resort in the Bahamas with no license for over 10 years cannot be given the right to operate his own personal stem cell clinic in his home...

Yes pass the legislation but let only true medical professionals run a clinic, not a fashion designer with a God complex.


raducu 9 years ago

Finally, someone who gets what is really important here! I've been saying these things for a long time. We should take advantage of this and start the reasearch right away. http://incaltamintecopii.tumblr.com/">!


Sign in to comment