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I was flabbergasted at CBS's 60 Minutes report on Patented Genes! (See video). Yep - that's right. Bio-tech companies have been taking out patents on your genes! What does this mean for you? According to the story, it means that these companies can control testing for the genetically abnormal gene that they hold the patents on. An example given in the story is that of the breast cancer/ovarian cancer gene. This means that you can only be tested to see if you have this specific gene by the company that holds the patent. And if your insurance won't cover it, it will cost you $3200.00 out of pocket. Experts estimate that the cost should really only be around $300.00. It also means that other scientists can't pursue cures for the defective genes. This certainly cuts down on the talent pool of those seeking cures through genetic research. How the heck did this happen?! This should destroy any doubts you may still be having that corporate America is now totally in control of our country. After all, these patents allow them to own an integral piece of you!
The good news is that the ACLU has brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Of... as well as Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on the genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The lawsuit charges that patents on human
genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are "products of nature" and therefore can't be patented.