GENTECH archive


Re: petition

> of any life organism or part of it (Thanks, I should have written it).

I can understand this perspective. I also completely understand the 
disgust many people feel at the idea of patenting organisms. 
Generally it is not the organism that is patented, it is the gene 
construct and method of transfection which is patented rather than 
the organism itself. 

> what gene are we forced to insert in animals that we could not
> put in a plant ?
> OK, putting those genes in animals could make drugs *a little cheaper*.
> But that's all. It would be possible to put those genes in plants and let them 
> in confined rooms.

Are you suggesting that all dugs should be produced in plants yet 
not Patented?  When you say no living organism should be patented do 
you include bacteria and plants? If the intellectual property for 
production of rec. proteins and other bioactive substances is not 
patent protected most of these would not come to production. Without 
venture capital most of these products would not exist and without 
patents there would be no venture capital. This may be an unfortunate 
fact but it is the case. 

I agree that to trust 100% in companies goes beyond naive and 
approaches stupidity, however, in most countries there is not enough 
money put into research for products to be researched, let alone 
developed. No company acts altruistically but if in the pursuit of 
profit they produce a life saving drug then what is the problem. 
I agree that GM foods are not going to save lives, but there is a lot 
more to genetic modification than the production of soya or cotton. 
Look for example at PPL therapeutics (Scotland) and Pharming (The 
netherlands.). They are using genetic modification of animals for the 
production of therapeutic drugs which will save lives. They are also 
making money. If their IP was not patent protected then they would 
not exist as larger companies such as monsanto or whoever would 
simply have taken their technology and used it themselves. 

Finally, I am also fairly sure that it may not be possible to produce 
all drugs in plants. I may be wrong, but I don't think so. Also, when 
you say it makes the drugs *a little cheaper* I think this may be a 
vast underestimation. The cost difference may be large enough to make 
the production impossible. I don't want to say much more on this as I 
have no specific figures but I'm sure if you check it out you will 
find this to be the case.