Labor Party Statement on Human Genome Project 
U.S. Newswire 
30 Jun 8:30 
Labor Party Statement on the Human Genome Project 
To: National Desk 
Contact: Tony Mazzocchi of the Labor Party, 202-234-5190 


WASHINGTON, June 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement 
by Tony Mazzocchi of the Labor Party on the Human Genome Project: 

We in the Labor Party applaud the scientific advances being made 
through the National Institutes of Health and the National Science 
Foundation and other public research programs. After all it was the 
taxes of our members and other working people who paid for the U.S. 
portion of this research since federal funding for biomedical 
research was launched after World War II. It's just too bad that we 
don't have federally funded health care so that all our citizens can 
receive the benefit of these advances. 

But the Labor Party is particularly concerned over the use of this 
genetic data to misdirect biomedical research and health care. We 
know that damage to our genes causes cancer and other nasty 
conditions. It's not our genes that make us sick -- our genes keep us 
functioning -- it's damage to our genes that causes the problem. 
We in the labor movement see this as an effort to blame the 
victim -- we have cancer because we have "oncogenes" rather than 
because our genes have been damaged because they have "cancerous 
lungs." 

The determination of human gene sequences advances our ability to 
identify the damage that can be done to our genes from carcinogens 
and mutagens, and the need to protect our genes from environmental 
and occupational hazards. We know that most human ill health is not 
inherited but is due to external insult including pollution, 
infection, inadequate or inappropriate diet, physical accident or 
excess stress or social disruption such as wars. Preventing damage to 
human genes from carcinogens is a far more effective public health 
strategy than allowing the disease to develop and then attempting 
expensive and dangerous gene therapy or other heroic measures. 

We are also disturbed when we see corporations like Celera 
applying for and being granted patents on human genes. They didn't 
invent our genes and they shouldn't be able to profit by selling our 
gene sequences to the highest bidder. Patents on human genes 
represent a theft not just from the American people but from people 
all over the world.