Sunday, January 28, 2007

gene robbers

Recently our Grange held a benefit for Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian, who owns an organic farm raising canola (rapeseed) plants situated near other farmers using Monsanto's genetic canola seed. Percy's crop became contaminated with the genetic strain (wind, birds, who knows?) and when it was discovered, Monsanto ordered him to pay for a license or to have his crop destroyed; otherwise he would face legal action. Our benefit was held to help him with his legal costs. It seems a case of intellectual property and patent rights gone amok. An article in the newspaper today discusses how patents are given to researchers on human genes they discover as markers of certain genetic traits, especially genetic disorders. So perhaps someone may actually own the rights to some genes we have in our body. I hope they don't find out about any of us pirates, and require us to license 'their' genes. Or destroy them. Might be a story hidden in there.

The other sci-fi story is doing okay, sixty-five pages, and moving.

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