Re: SOC/BIO: Rifkin on Human Genetic Engineering in the LA Times

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2000 - 08:53:47 MST

On Sat, 5 Feb 2000 wrote:

> From The LA Times,
> "Cloning: What Hath Genomics Wrought?"

It seems like one main thrust of his argument is that the patent allows
developing embryos to be treated as "property". However, its my
impression that precedents in law *already* allow embryos, eggs,
sperm, etc. to already be treated as property. Haven't there been cases
where courts must decide which parent gets "unutilized" reproductive
material during a divorce?

I also want to *see* the patents to see how much Rifkin is bending
the truth (if anyone can find the patent claims, please let me know).
In fact patents would not give you the ownership of the "blastocysts".
They would only give you the right to prevent someone else from using
the cloning technology to produce such blastocysts.

Of course, it is always my observation that the publication of
this information is good (patented or not), since it allows people
to use it in places where the patent treaties are not in effect.
I can't see Geron attempting to bar from entry into the U.S. an
individual created using this technology who hasn't paid his royalty


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