Sunday, May 17, 2009

OWNERSHIP MADNESS


Genae Girard, 39, is suing Myriad Genetics and the Patent Office over the
granting of a patent on a gene. Myriad also has patented the only test that
measures the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Anyone who looks at modern society must be staggered by how much private ownership dominates it. All the land of this planet is owned by a small group of owners - about 5 per cent. All the factories and workshops are owned by the same 5 per cent. All the airlines and all other means of transport are in the possession of the same small group. Now it seems that even the genes that are the basis of human existence are owned too. An unfortunate worker who was suffering from cancer went to a specialists for tests. "The test came back positive, so she wanted a second opinion from another test. But there can be no second opinion. A decision by the government more than 10 years ago allowed a single company, Myriad Genetics, to own the patent on two genes that are closely associated with increased risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and on the testing that measures that risk." (New York Times, 12 May)
There is money to be made out of ownership so bugger the poor worker who needs information. Sorry, they own the patent on the gene. Your mother or your daughter dies, so what. Money and profit are much more important. RD

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