About 10 weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that “isolated human genes cannot be patented.” 

The decreasing cost of genetic testing can allow laboratories to provide more affordable options for everyone. However the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on over 20% of human genes. Apparently, this is unconstitutional and these gene patents will make it difficult or impossible for many people to know there risks.

In an effort to make the public aware of what is happening, the following email arrived in my inbox from Family Tree DNA President, Bennett Greenspan:

Hello,

It’s rare that I send ‘blast emails’, but if there was ever a time in my life that called for a broad based blast, now is that time. I want to share with you an important campaign www.freemygenes.org that I have started, to raise awareness to an alarming situation.

About 10 weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that “isolated human genes cannot be patented.”

That same day our DNA testing company launched a breast cancer test that was far more affordable than previous offered tests. Our precedent-setting reduction in price meant that millions of Americans who previously could not get the test–because their insurance company wouldn’t pay, or because they lacked insurance–now had access to a high quality test for breast cancer risk.

Myriad Genetics sued us and others for offering this test and although we are not looking for a fight, we are now forced to defend ourselves and feel morally obligated to bring the world a more affordable test. As a child of the 60s, I can tell you that if there ever was a fight worth fighting, this is it.

I urge you to visit our site: www.freemygenes.org and familiarize yourself with the situation as it has unfolded and I urge you to share this information with others. Our actions are based on two key points: genetic testing should be affordable and available to everyone; and test providers should share data to enable better tests for consumers.

To help us promote the effort we ask that you LIKE our page and update your FB profile picture to reflect our cause. Details are on the website.

I am humbled by the volunteers who have stepped forward to help us with this case so far, including the ACLU, AARP, and the Breast Cancer Action. Now it’s your turn. Please do so as soon as you have the opportunity to get online. Thank you very much for your support.

Best Regards,

Bennett Greenspan
President
Family Tree DNA
www.familytreedna.com
“History Unearthed Daily”

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