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The Human Genome Diversity Project: The Politics of Patents at the Intersection of Race, Religion, and Research Ethics

37 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2004  

Bita Amani

Queen's University - Faculty of Law

Rosemary Coombe

York University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

The patenting of human genetic materials provokes wide-ranging misgivings about the appropriate place and scope of intellectual property protections. The issues implicated range from anti-competitive practices in the market, the imposition of limits on biomedical research, increasing costs for health care, research ethics, potentials for racial discrimination, and various violations of human rights. Exploring controversies around the Human Genome Diversity Project, patents on genetic sequences, and patents on higher life forms such as the so-called "Harvard mouse," the authors find that North American patent policy has developed in the absence of necessary political debate. They link this de-politicization to the hegemony of neo-liberal principles most fully demonstrated by the incorporation of intellectual property under international trade negotiations. They point, however, to the recent emergence and increasing audibility of new social movements that seek to reposition issues of intellectual property in larger debates about human rights, distributional equalities, and social justice.

Suggested Citation

Amani, Bita and Coombe, Rosemary, The Human Genome Diversity Project: The Politics of Patents at the Intersection of Race, Religion, and Research Ethics. Law & Policy, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 152-188, January 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=639776

Bita Amani (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 K7L3N6
Canada

Rosemary Coombe

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.yorku.ca/rcoombe

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