In our view, the Correction was not justified to your online News story reporting remarks made last month by Mauro Ferrari in a television interview about Italy's Stamina Foundation and its controversial stem-cell treatments (Nature; 2014). Ferrari is the proposed chair of the second scientific committee set to investigate the Stamina protocol.

First, we find it inappropriate that the Correction led to the removal of an ambiguous statement by Ferrari about the purported opportunities Stamina's therapies might present for Italy.

Second, you corrected his alleged reference to Stamina as “the first important case for regenerative medicine [in Italy]”, saying that he was in fact referring to the Stamina case as “the first important court case” in the country. However, there was no reference to a court case in Ferrari's statements in the TV interview as transmitted.

Ferrari also said in this interview that decisions following the committee's assessment would affect future generations of patients and “many other cases” to come. Regulation and approval of new therapies rests with the Italian Drug Agency operating within relevant laws, however, not with a scientific committee chair.

The Stamina case has made Italy a battlefield for local and international commercial interests and anti-regulatory lobbies. These misrepresent the regulation of new therapies as an obstacle to the rapid provision of cures to patients, rather than as a way of protecting people from abuse and fraud.

Last year, Italy came close to deregulating mesenchymal stem-cell therapies (as supposedly used in Stamina's protocol) by reclassifying them as transplants, which would bypass the Italian Drug Agency and open the way to peddlers of unproven therapies. This was fortunately blocked by Italian scientists. The 2014 Public Service Award later granted to three of us (P.B., E.C. and M.D.L.) by the International Society for Stem Cell Research is a token of the global impact of the issues, as raised by many similar cases around the world.