patent

ACLU Challenges Patenting of Human Genes

Sunday, September 20, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: genes, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Delicious
(NaturalNews) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit to challenge the patents on the human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, mutations of which are believed to predispose people to breast cancer.

The lawsuit names as defendants Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on the genes, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Commission, which issued the patents in the first place. The ACLU says that the patenting of genes is unconstitutional, and that the patenting of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in particular put important medical care out of the hands of the poor.

"I think we're talking about unreasonable profit and exploitation of people at risk," said M. Sara Rosenthal, director of the University of Kentucky Program for Bioethics, who is not involved in the lawsuit. "The issue is greed, which is never ethical."

In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that genes and life forms may be patented, and private patents are now held on 20 percent of the human genome. The remaining 80 percent was sequenced by the Human Genome Project and is in the public domain. A researcher could still patent a diagnostic test, therapy or other "new use" of a "public domain" gene, however.

According to Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation, which has joined the ACLU as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, it is absurd to presume that genes can be patented just because a new use is found for them.

"If someone removes your eyeball ... just because you remove the eyeball and wash it off, that doesn't make the eyeball patentable," he said.

Because of its patents, Myriad Genetics collects royalties for all diagnostic tests screening people for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations that increase the risk of cancer, thus driving up the price of those tests.

"I think that legal arguments about why this kind of thing isn't really something that should be patentable are really strong at a theoretical level," said bioethicist Josephine Johnston, of the Hastings Institute. "I wouldn't be that confident that the American court system would agree."

Sources for this story include: www.cnn.com.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.