patent

Sanity prevails: US Supreme Court rules that human genes are not eligible for patent protection

Thursday, June 13, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Supreme Court, gene patents, Myriad Genetics

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) In a unanimous ruling, the United States Supreme Court ruled today that human genes cannot be patented. The ruling invalidates the thousands of patents that have already been granted on human genes, including the patent by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA breast cancer genes which the company says no one else can research or even detect without paying it a royalty. Click here to read the complete ruling.

"Myriad did not create anything," said Justice Clarence Thomas. "To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention."

Well, exactly. This point should have been obvious to the lower courts, too, but in today's world of corporate domination over seemingly everything, gene industry lawyers were able to argue that patent protection would somehow inspire more innovation and research. "The biotechnology industry had warned that an expansive ruling against Myriad could threaten billions of dollars of investment," wrote Reuters.

But exactly the opposite is true. Gene patents restricted research and created medical monopolies that raised prices for consumers. Even USA Today seemingly gets this point, saying, "The decision represents a victory for cancer patients, researchers and geneticists who claimed that a single company's patent raised costs, restricted research and sometimes forced women to have breasts or ovaries removed without sufficient facts or second opinions."

The ACLU, which argued the case before the Court, said, "By invalidating these patents, the Court lifted a major barrier to progress in further understanding how we can better treat and prevent diseases."

Corporate efforts to influence the Supreme Court ultimately failed

Had the Supreme Court upheld the patentability of human genes, it would have unleashed a horrifying new era of corporations and universities rushing to claim monopoly patent protection on every gene in the human genome. Virtually no one in the media covered this angle other than Natural News. We warned readers that everything found in nature could then be patented: blades of grass, insects, human ears, eye colors, hair colors... anything encoded with DNA.

We also pointed out that Angelina Jolie's carefully orchestrated announcement of a double mastectomy following BRCA gene testing seemed timed to be part of a public relations campaign engineered by the biotech industry to influence the Supreme Court decision. We also challenged Jolie to publicly denounce patents on human genes, which she never did.

It's clear that powerful forces were at work behind the scenes to try to influence this Supreme Court decision, but they failed. Ultimately, the court discovered a moment of unanimous sanity... something we see so rarely that perhaps it deserves patent protection, too.

Huge loss for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries

It's important to note that this decision is a huge loss for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, both of which relentlessly seek total domination over all forms of life on the planet through monopoly patent protection. The biotech industry, of course, would love to patent all seeds and food crops -- even ones it hasn't genetically engineered. And the pharmaceutical industry would love to patent every human gene, thereby claiming literal ownership over every human being born into the world.

Myriad Genetics tried every desperate argument to convince the court that human genes should be patentable by corporations. They even rolled out a whacky "baseball bat theory" which claims it's an "invention" to decide where to start and end a gene sequence:

"A baseball bat doesn't exist until it's isolated from a tree. But that's still the product of human invention to decide where to begin the bat and where to end the bat." - Myriad lawyer Gregory Castanias.

That absurd argument claims that the mere deciding of which genes to snip out of DNA strands somehow makes all genes corporate property. Thankfully, the court did not agree with the baseball bat theory. As Chief Justice John Roberts explained:

"The baseball bat is quite different. You don't look at a tree and say, well, I've cut the branch here and cut it here and all of a sudden I've got a baseball bat. You have to invent it."

Huge victory for humanity

Ultimately, this decision is a tremendous victory for all humankind because it prevents the power-hungry, evil-bent medical and biotech corporations from claiming ownership over genetic sequences that already occur in nature.

This ruling means the biotech industry cannot patent common plants and animals, either. They can't patent human body parts or human gene sequences. Yes, the industry can still patent synthetically-created genes, said the Supreme Court, but that's something they would actually have to create rather than merely discover in an already-existing organism.

Today's ruling also means that men and women will have access to far less expensive testing for gene sequences in their own bodies. Currently, women who want to test themselves for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes must pay as much as $4,000 for the test due to the monopoly "ownership" of those genes by Myriad Genetics. But now that the Supreme Court has ruled such patents are invalid, prices for the test should drastically fall over time as competition enters the picture. Ultimately, the test could eventually be offered for as little as $100.

The ruling also means that other companies can conduct research on those genes without first seeking permission from Myriad. This will actually spur more innovation, potentially leading to more advanced genetic analysis tests that might help people better understand their health risks (and hopefully encourage them to change their diets and lifestyle choices to avoid expressing those genes).

In a world that seems increasingly dominated by corporate monopolies and biotechnology insanity, this ruling is a breath of fresh air. It confirms that corporations cannot patent naturally-occurring things which have been in existence for hundreds of thousands of years, and it confirms that when you have a child through an act of genetic replication, corporations cannot force you to pay royalties for your own child.

This is a decision of fundamental freedom, which is why I'm shocked the court actually ruled this way. This must be one of those rare moments of sanity in a Supreme Court that otherwise seems intent on destroying human liberty, dignity and justice.

Decision shows the important work of ACLU in protecting human rights against corporate domination

We must all thank the ACLU on this decision, as it was the ACLU which argued this to victory.

"Over the last 30 years, the U.S. Patent Office has issued patents on thousands of human genes, including genes associated with colon cancer, Alzheimer's disease, muscular dystrophy, and many other devastating diseases. The status quo meant that companies controlling gene patents had the right to stop all other scientists from examining, studying, testing, and researching our genes," the ACLU wrote in a press release.

The ACLU further wrote:

We celebrate the Court's ruling as a victory for civil liberties, scientific freedom, patients, and the future of personalized medicine. It also demonstrates the power of creating alliances and fighting for the public interest. The ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation filed the case four years ago on behalf of twenty plaintiffs, including organizations representing over 150,000 medical professionals, geneticists, breast cancer and women's health advocacy groups, and patients. Few thought we had a chance against the decades-long Patent Office practice as well as the entrenched industry position. But litigation can be a strong tool in producing change, never more than when diverse communities come together. Here, the medical, scientific, and patient communities united, and were soon joined by many others, eventually including the U.S. government. We honor the contributions everyone made to our success today.

The ACLU, by the way, has also filed suit against the NSA's Patriot Act phone surveillance.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.




About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

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

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

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.