A Rally Against Human Gene Patents on the Supreme Court’s Steps

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky March 19, 2013
Biopolitical Times

On the morning of April 15, while the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the landmark lawsuit challenging the patents on the so-called “breast cancer genes,” Breast Cancer Action (BCA) will hold a rally on the courthouse steps to take a stand against all human gene patenting. Like the lawsuit itself, the rally is a first.

BCA is a plaintiff in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. along with Our Bodies Ourselves; four scientific organizations representing more than 150,000 researchers and laboratory professionals; and individual researchers, genetic counselors and breast cancer patients. The Supreme Court hearing is the culmination of a legal process that began in 2009, when the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation filed the lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, the University of Utah Research Foundation and the US Patent Office.

BCA’s announcement of the rally opens with the question, “Can anyone own the sun or the air?” and the answer, “The very idea is absurd…Breast Cancer Action believes that human genes belong to human beings, not corporations.” It continues:

Allowing corporations to patent human genes is wrong and is actively harming women’s health. When a corporation controls human genes, corporate profits will always come before our health.

The rally is endorsed by the Center for Genetics and Society, Friends of the Earth, National Women’s Health Network, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research. You can share the announcement and let BCA know you’ll be there at Democracy in Action or on Facebook.