Don't do it? The Ice Bucket Challenge backlash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Don't do it? The Ice Bucket Challenge backlash

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become an internet sensation, and has raised a lot of money for researching Lou Gehrig's Disease. But not everyone is eager to accept the dare.

Since the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, donations have raised $76 million more than they did this time last year. Now there's some backlash from the Catholic Diocese, animal rights groups and celebrities.

We've seen San Diego Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and calling on San Diego Padres Manager Bud Black, as well as the president of San Diego's Helen Woodward Animal Center dumping a bucket of ice water over his head to fight ALS.

Here's how it works: someone dumps the bucket of ice water on his or her head, then gives friends and family 24 hours to either do the same or donate to the ALS Association to aid in their efforts to find a cure.

But one celebrity is declining the challenge. "Baywatch" bombshell Pamela Anderson, who is also animal rights activist for PETA, is encouraging people to donate to other groups who don't harm animals in experiments to find a cure. Some other Hollywood stars are rejecting the challenge because of California's drought.

Backlash is also coming from the Catholic Diocese. Some are urging Catholic schools who participate in the Ice Bucekt Challenge to send donations to other organizations who use adult stem cell or non-stem cell research, rather than embryonic stem cell research, which is considered as abortion and violates Catholic teachings.

Despite the controversy, ALS has raised more than $79 million since July 29, compared to only $2.6 million this time last year.

ALS Association of Greater San Diego executive director Steve Becvar released the following statement Tuesday:

"The Association believes that stem cell research is an evolving field that holds the potential to provide benefit to people with ALS in the future. The pursuit of stem cell research with appropriate scientific review and ethical guidelines directly furthers the mission of The ALS Association in finding a cure for and improving living with ALS.

The ALS Association primarily funds adult stem cell research. Currently, The Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC), and the stem cell line was established many years ago under ethical guidelines set by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); this research is funded by one specific donor, who is committed to this area of research. In fact, donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project."

Chancellor Rodrigo Valdiva of the Diocese of San Diego also released this statement:

"There have been no official statements about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (by any diocesan official) in this diocese.

I am aware that at least one other diocese or bishop has instructed Catholic faithful to direct their monetary contributions to charitable organizations that adhere to Catholic teaching. Each bishop is responsible to guide the faithful in his own diocese as he best sees fit. For the time being Bishop Flores is not in a position to consider such a statement."

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