The surprise decision by the US Supreme Court, in a case brought by the non-profit scientific society the Association for Molecular Biology, to ban the patenting of any naturally occurring human DNA is a major success. Multinational pharma and medical companies are now barred from carving off chunks of human inheritance in the interests of profit.
The court’s decision is a triumph for humanity, rejecting the attempted blackmail by a number of these research companies – that they would not invest in research if they could not then harvest the financial returns of such investment.
The court’s statement that “we hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible” is significant. Why not extend it to all products of nature and challenge the basis of property rights in all fields of human endeavour? ■