Genetic justice, industry style

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky on March 19th, 2007

The issues raised by the intertwining of law and human biotechnologies are often technically and socially complex. What's a busy jurist to do?

If the Biotechnology Industry Organization has its way, she'll click on to A Jurist's Guide to 21st Century Biotechnology. In an introductory statement, former BIO president Carl Feldbaum writes that the project aims to give judges and legal professionals a "neutral" and "objective educational resource."

This goal is unlikely to be attained. The project's founders, board of directors, and working group members are drawn from BIO itself, biotech companies, or their law firms (with the single exception of an analyst from the Congressional Research Service). Not one public interest organization is represented; not one academic figure is included.

Feldbaum points out that "the biotechnology industry did not take off until the 1980 Supreme Court decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty upheld the right to patent organisms." BIO knows how to follow the money.

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Posted in Biotech & Pharma, Marcy Darnovsky's Blog Posts, Patents & Other IP


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