We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Lunacy of Gene Patenting & Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy

Click here to access article by Prabir Purkayastha from NewsClick (India).
Jolie is an icon and her body is an important element of her appeal; therefore her decision and its consequences are clearly of great public interest. While commentaries and TV programmes have focussed on breast cancer detection and what kind of medical intervention should or should not be done, what has slipped the world's attention is that one particular company – Myriad Genetics – completely controls not only all diagnostic tests but also all research for this particular form of breast cancer.
The author reveals that the genes were originally discovered by the "University of Utah with public funds", which then sold the patents to Myriad Genetics. Ain't capitalism wonderful?

She also explores the many implications of having corporations owning the building blocks of our bodies.