Genetic Outrage

May 14, 2009

Did you read this: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/05/13/genes.patent.myriad/index.html

They are patenting pure human genes, so if anyone develops medical treatments direct at them the corporation has to given their permission first (and wet their beak on any future profits). What the fuck. Where does rank on your outrage scale?

Ethan Morrow,

Former citizen of the Democratic Republic of the United States of America

***

Damn, that is a bigger slap in the face than actually being slapped in the face. The idea that the fundament of our being is property is offensive enough, but that the motivation for making it property is to ensure people can’t treat disease for free: that takes a special kind of shamelessness. It is getting to the point where they will patent the Hard-On and I’ll have to sleep with an elastic band around my junk to keep my morning wood from driving me to financial ruin.

Of course the real crime is not that some scumbag corporation attempted it, but that the government’s response was anything besides immediate trial for crimes against humanity. They have abandoned all of pretense of being an extension of the public will, and become the crooked bagmen of children-stealing ghouls.

As for where it ranks on my outrage scale, take a look-see:

Beats Entropy: Things A.J. is Outraged by Scale

0- Delicious toast being provided in a timely fashion

1– My beloved Sally’s shameful towel hoarding [1]

2- Godzilla being female and taken down with two pitiful sidewinder missiles [2]

3- Couples who hyphenated their last names instead of just picking one

4- Being “Shusssshed”

5- Special Education getting more funding than Enrichment classes

6- Vegans trying to undermine our hard won position on the food chain [3]

7- Twilight having been a best seller

8- Prefacing the explanation of a simple concept with “Basically”, or, a clearly figurative statement with “Literally”.  [4]

9- Patenting things in nature that you did not create

10- Filthy Quebecois traitors whining Bill 101 in existence

***

[1] And now I can’t use a beach towel either! This is a bigger slight than the “don’t drink out of a measuring cup” debacle of 1988.

[2] The acceptable methods for dealing with Godzilla

a) Drive him back into the sea.

b) Hope the giant moth/robot/deep sea fangly fish starts running its mouth and aggravates him.

c) Persuade elf looking alien chicks to soothe him with song…that he might return to the sea of his own accord.

[3] You think the Bears aren’t watching for signs of weakness; they are.

[4] No, you did not “literally” jump out of your skin when the dog barked…you lying son of a whore.

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17 Responses to “Genetic Outrage”

  1. NotMike Says:

    “[1] And now I can’t use a beach towel either! This is a bigger slight than the “don’t drink out of a measuring cup” debacle of 1988.”

    ONGOING

  2. Pollyanna Says:

    “[1] And now I can’t use a beach towel either!”

    GAH! You now have a plush regular towel in addition to an extra large bath sheet AND I bought you a ShamWow so you could play Olympic Swimmer Drying Off After Competition when you get out of the tub and yet you also use my towel and the hand towel that is supposed to be for our guests to use without worry that it might have touched your junk! How much water can one man’s body hair hold? That’s some freaky patentable genetics right there I tells you.


  3. Re: Pollyanna

    Curses, Woman….I will use the beard of the almighty himself if that’s what it takes to get me dry!


  4. “ONGOING”

    Why must your ilk persecute me for my choice of vessel…when I am thirsty I need exactly the right amount of water, glasses be damned.


  5. Hmm…how I add and remove water from my body causes a surprising amount of stryfe. I must consult the oracles.

  6. Warcloud Says:

    “Damn, that is a bigger slap in the face than actually being slapped in the face”

    It is a good sign when I can’t get past the first line of your response without laughing. Clever piece. Nice mix of thoughtfulness and light humor.

  7. w()rmwood Says:

    Suggestion: we still have anti-slavery laws on the books outlaw the owning of people – maybe we can prosecute said corporations for ‘owning’ parts of people under slavery laws? Damn that would be satisfying.

    =)

  8. Magnus Holm Says:

    Being non-Canadian, I do not necessarily share your hatred of Bill 101, so I guess I would have to put “Patenting things in nature that you did not create” right at the top of my own personal outrage scale.

    This is not only outrageous, immoral and, I suspect, directly blasphemous according to any number of religions, it is also illegal in quite a few countries.

    For something to be patentable (if that’s a real word) in Norway, for example, it has to be new and fundamentally different from existing concepts. Unless you adopt a strictly geological time frame, the human genome can hardly be called new, could it?

  9. Justin Says:

    Wow. I did not hear about this absurd shit until now. What will probably happen is “bootleg” genetics. We wont have to pay top dollar but we wont get top quality either. So what if I have an elbow protruding from my forehead! We will see what happens but I’m thinking that this patent thing wont fly.

  10. Pollyanna Says:

    While I don’t think Canada has allowed for the patenting of genes found in nature, it has allowed for the patenting of genes modified in a lab. From a purely legal standpoint I can understand this — patents are meant to reward and encourage human ingenuity.

    But what happens if gene therapy ever really takes off — if a person can have patented genes inserted into them that cures them of a disease, where do the rights of the company that own the patent end? What if this now-cured person passes on their modified genetics to their offspring? Are they going to have to pay the company a licensing fee for any child that might carry the modified gene?

    Maybe it sounds crazy and alarmist, but that is essentially the situation in Canada with regards to plants as established by Monsanto v. Schmeiser — if you have any Roundup Ready Canola on your property you’d better get ready to pay for it, even if the seeds drifted there in that way that seeds so often do…and nuts to you if you’ve been growing normal Canola and Monsanto’s genetically modified canola cross-polinates with it. If it’s got Monsanto’s genes in it, you have to pay.

    Wormwood your argument is along the lines of the one Schmeiser’s law team tried to use, arguing that while Monanto may own the modified genes in the plant, they can’t own the plant as a whole. I sincerely hope I never live to see the day when we hear a case like this involving human beings.

  11. Pollyanna Says:

    …but maybe no case involving human beings could ever come to fruition given the Harvard Mouse case, where the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a split decision that higher life-forms couldn’t be patented (Harvard was granted a patent in just about every other major industrialized counrty though).

    Dang AJ, way to bring up a topic that gets my inner intellectual property nerd all excited.


  12. “Maybe it sounds crazy and alarmist, but that is essentially the situation in Canada with regards to plants as established by Monsanto v. Schmeiser — if you have any Roundup Ready Canola on your property you’d better get ready to pay for it, even if the seeds drifted there in that way that seeds so often do…and nuts to you if you’ve been growing normal Canola and Monsanto’s genetically modified canola cross-polinates with it. If it’s got Monsanto’s genes in it, you have to pay.”

    I actually got into semantic discussion with Felica the other day about the meaning and misuse of the word obscene. That court ruling was the anchor point of my definition of obscenity: that which offends the concept of decency through existence alone.

    The idea that a natural expression of life, in a wild context, could be some harshly commoditized corporate function…bleeaaargg! At some point the courts have to step in and go “No, you’re all monsters, you can’t own this.”


  13. Magnus:

    “Unless you adopt a strictly geological time frame, the human genome can hardly be called new, could it?”

    Those filthy corparte shysters will probably hire themselves some big city Trilobite lawyers to claim first cause.


  14. “Suggestion: we still have anti-slavery laws on the books outlaw the owning of people – maybe we can prosecute said corporations for ‘owning’ parts of people under slavery laws?”

    Legally unsupportable, but morally wholly justified.


  15. “We will see what happens but I’m thinking that this patent thing wont fly.”

    I really hope so, but I’ve lost a great deal of faith in the courts of late.

  16. baredfeetandteeth Says:

    Preemptively patent the boner yourself in revenge, and overcharge Dr.Genehoarder and his governmental allies, while stocking their respective labs/offices with chesty servers from the Cactus Club (notorious for non existant skirts), until they’re properly impoverished and an armistice is required… in which you can set terms along the lines of “free genes for all and I’ll let your hard ons go”


  17. Devious and efficacious as always Miss K.


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