HyPEing the Human Genome

The Dissent Disease

For fun and profit, the Genomics industry is devising a New Genomics Agenda to make well people even better. For power and control, their pharmaceutical industry masters also want to target the 'different' and manage dissent.For fun and profit, the Genomics industry is devising a New Genomics Agenda to make well people even better. For power and control, their pharmaceutical industry masters also want to target the 'different' and manage dissent.For fun and profit, the Genomics industry is devising a New Genomics Agenda to make well people even better. For power and control, their pharmaceutical industry masters also want to target the 'different' and manage dissent.

Cloning - a lamb in wolf's clothing? The new genomics agenda has very little interest in human cloning. Ever since "Dolly" the cloned sheep appeared on our television screens almost five years ago, the public's concern about genetic engineering in medicine has been riveted to the moral and technical implications of what the drug companies have always seen as - at best - a tiny niche market. Meanwhile, advances in mapping the human genome have spawned vastly more lucrative markets much more immediate and less controversial than either cloning or stem cell research. The companies have a whole new genomics agenda.

Target practice: The new genomics agenda targets the different and the dissenters. Indigenous peoples in remote regions are targets because their cell lines may contain patentable variations that could be used to diagnose or "cure" genetic disorders. Similarly, disease or disability populations are viewed by industry as both "cure" and "customer." The genetic variation of these populations must be studied in order to produce commercial gene therapies and these same genetically "different" groups - or their parents - are also the end-buyers of the research. The poor are also targets of research. Genomics companies have focused on populations in China, for example, because they are too weak, politically and economically, to resist. As always, it is the women within disadvantaged groups that are the primary focus for study and experimentation.

 

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