Nygard slams FNM on stem cell debate
By TRAVIS CARTWRIGHT-CARROLL
Guardian Staff Reporter
Controversial Lyford Cay resident Peter Nygard said earlier this week that the Free National Movement’s (FNM) politicization of the Stem Cell Therapy Bill was “small-minded” and the group does not deserve to be in government.
Nygard appeared on the More 94.9 FM radio show “Real Talk Live” with Ortland Bodie on Monday and said he was shocked when saw the issue become so politicized.
“This should never, ever be politicized,” he said.
“I am so in shock that this should ever become politicized.
“My goodness, a big issue like this should be above politics. Even people like [FNM Deputy Chairman Dr. Duane] Sands who is a key doctor in the committee.
“I think he was in shock to see this become politicized within his own party.
“This is such a disfavor for the Bahamian people, for the Bahamian nation for having an issue such as this become politicized and then doing it for the wrong reasons.
“In my mind, the people, they don’t even deserve to be in government. It’s just so small-minded.
“I actually was working on this before Prime Minister Christie with the other government. I tried to bring this forward at that time and they chose not to pay the same kind of attention to it that Prime Minister Christie did.”
Sands was a member of a government-appointed task force that reviewed the stem cell issue and presented recommendations on how the procedures could be developed in the country. Those recommendations were instrumental in the drafting of the law.
FNM Chairman Darron Cash said yesterday that the party is not surprised by Nygard’s statements.
“We simply say what else is to be expected?” he said in a statement.
“He knows that he will always be clothed in the protection and comfort of the prime minister.”
He added: “One day soon there will be a new sheriff in town.”
FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis blasted the government for “rushing” stem cell legislation through Parliament during debate on the bill in July.
The party later suggested that the government was pushing the law as a payback to Nygard, an assertion the government denied.
Nygard told reporters in July that he had no personal self-serving interests in the government passing the Stem Cell Bill.
However, in a recent YouTube video Nygard claimed that he “initiated and helped to write the stem cell legislation” which was eventually passed.
Parliament passed the Stem Cell Therapy Bill in August.
Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez said the law would place strict limitations on the practice to prevent human reproduction.
A scientific review committee and an ethics committee are to police the sector.
October 31, 2013