Los Genes Humanos no pueden ser patentados (Consejo de Europa, junio2000)

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Los Genes Humanos no pueden ser patentados (Human Genes cannot be patented) Consejo de Europa Estraburgo, 29 de junio de 2000 – Council of Europe parliamentarians today called on the 15 European Union countries to renegotiate an EU Directive that allows patenting of human genes. The Assembly agreed to the call, made by French parliamentarian …

Los Genes Humanos no pueden ser patentados

 

(Human Genes cannot be patented)

Consejo de Europa

Estraburgo, 29 de junio de 2000

– Council of Europe parliamentarians today called on the 15 European Union countries to renegotiate an EU Directive that allows patenting of human genes.

The Assembly agreed to the call, made by French parliamentarian and geneticist Dr Jean François Mattei (LDR) and Dr Wolfgang Wodarg (Germany, Soc), that EU directive 98/44/EC should be renegotiated straight away, with time allowed for a proper public debate. The directive – which has not yet been transposed into national legislation in any of the European Union member states – says that a gene may be patented if isolated from the human body.

The Assembly backed countries that have brought cases against the directive to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The Assembly also asked the Council of Europe Bioethics Committee to work alongside other international organisations to find out if the approach to new medical and bio-technology advances in varying countries is in line with the fundamental ethical principles of human rights and dignity. This would allow procedures to limit commercial use of the human body to an absolute minimum, ensure informed consent and guarantee that genes were used for legitimate advances in human health care.

It asked the Council to draw up an international convention with worldwide cover on the use of living matter.

Mr Mattei stressed that the Council must act in its role as watchdog for human rights and dignity.

“The human body is not a saleable commodity – and nor are its genes,” Mr Mattei told the Assembly. He warned that American companies were patenting human gene sequences for breast cancer genes – giving them an effective monopoly over every woman on the planet.

” We could get to the point where we see trade names printed on human genes in the same way that exporters stick their logo on bananas,” he said.

“Neither electrons nor the Internet were patented, and both have led to important advances.”

Press Contact :
Christiane Dennemeyer or Cathie Burton, Council of Europe Press Service
Tel. +33 3 88 41 25 63 / +33 3 88 41 28 93 – Fax +33 3 88 41 27 90
E.mail : PressUnit@coe.int

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