October 25, 2020

Bahamas denies billionaire designer helped draft stem cell legislation


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From Caribbean 360stem-cell

NASSAU, Bahamas, Wednesday November 6, 2013, CMC – The Bahamas government has denied reports that controversial billionaire fashion designer Peter Nygard had assisted in drafting legislation for stem cell research and centres on the island.

“There has been some suggestion that Peter Nygard…was involved in the drafting of the legislation. This is not true.  While Mr Nygard’s commitment to stem cell therapies is well known, and his support for the new legislation is welcome, he did not participate in the drafting of the legislation,” Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said in a statement.

Chairman of the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM), Darron Cash, told the Bahamas Tribune newspaper that his party was not surprised by  comments made by Nygard about the recently passed stem cell research bill because the party warned Bahamians that the law could be “described as ‘Nygard’s Law’ because it was done for him.”

The newspaper reported that Nygard had said in a recent YouTube video that he “initiated and helped to write the stem cell legislation” which is now law.

Cash said that “Nygard’s most recent slick video” was further evidence of his closeness to the government of Prime Minister Perry Christie.

“As an international fashion designer Peter Nygard understands very well the significance of image and branding. It clearly works to the advantage of his personal brand that he is able to broadcast around the globe that he was single-handedly responsible for peddling his ideas to countries around the globe, drafting legislation and then convincing the government of the Bahamas.”

But in her statement, the Attorney General said that Nygard “did not meet with me and the members of the legislative drafting team responsible for the stem cell legislation have advised me that none of them met with or consulted him”.

She described the passage of the legislation as “a landmark achievement for our nation, ensuring that expert scientific and ethics committees now review proposals from those doctors and scientists seeking to establish stem cell research and therapy centres in The Bahamas.

“The legislation paves the way for investments in new health care facilities and laboratories, which will create new jobs, provide Bahamians access to important therapies, and generate extraordinary opportunities for Bahamian scientists and doctors.”

Mrs Maynard-Gibson reiterated earlier statements by Prime Minister Christie that his administration was looking forward “to collaborating with the University of Miami and other prestigious partners to support our new regulatory regime and ensure that our nation becomes known for excellence and integrity as well as exciting medical advances.

“In drafting this legislation, my office consulted both broadly and deeply, in The Bahamas and across the globe, consulting with stakeholders and experts and reviewing regulations and best practices in other nations,” she added.

PHOTO: Allyson Maynard-Gibson (File Photo)

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