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Patenting of genes moves one stage closer

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 26 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:205
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    The prospect of legislation across the European Union protecting biotechnological inventions moved a stage closer last week when the scheme won overwhelming approval from the European parliament.

    The support of MEPs for the draft legislation, which has been widely criticised by various environmental and religious groups, was in marked contrast to the stance they adopted two and a half years ago. Then, largely swayed by the moral issues involved, the parliament used new legislative powers to kill the proposal.

    The latest version is designed to take on board some of those earlier fears by stipulating that “discoveries” of elements that already …

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