Our life and health depend on an intricate web of relationships within the biological and social worlds. Protection of these relationships must inform all public policy.
Commercial, governmental, scientific and medical institutions promote manipulation of genes despite profound ignorance of how such changes may affect the web of life. Once they enter the environment, organisms with modified genes cannot be recalled and pose novel risks to humanity and the entire biosphere.
Manipulation of human genes creates new threats to the health of individuals and their offspring, and endangers human rights, privacy and dignity.
Genes, other constituents of life, and genetically modified organisms themselves are rapidly being patented and turned into objects of commerce. This commercialization of life is veiled behind promises to cure disease and feed the hungry.
People everywhere have the right to participate in evaluating the social and biological implications of the genetic revolution and in democratically guiding its applications.
To protect our human rights and integrity and the biological integrity of the earth, we, therefore, propose this Genetic Bill of Rights.