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US religious groups oppose gene patents

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1351

A long running controversy in the United States came to a head when a coalition of more than 80 religious groups held a nationally televised press conference in Washington this month to declare their opposition to gene patents. The coalition includes Methodists, Baptists, Jews, and Muslims under the banner of the Joint Appeal Against Human and Animal Parenting.

The coalition said: “We are opposed to the parenting of human embryos, genes, cells, and the parenting of animals including those with human genes engineered into their permanent genetic code.”

In a landmark case in 1980 the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a microbiologist, Ananda Chakrabarty, who had been denied patent protection for a genetically …

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