It’s in the genes,
the secrets that they’re looking for,
those companies who’ve gone to war
against genetically-linked disease
and those who seek commercial gain,
those who dare explore
the building-blocks of life,
going further than before.
The wheel has circled round again.
Is there a gene which makes you strong?
A long-life gene?
A gene to make you clever?
An ever-happy gene?
A gene that makes you fight?
A night-sight gene?
A gene that makes you black or white?
A Christian right gene?
A gene for every deviant state?
A gay or straight gene?
Genes that make you ‘pure’?
with engineering tools to ‘cure’,
to discriminate and segregate,
Eugenics, we’ve seen it all before –
the blue-eyed, blonde-haired, pure-white
straight vision of Aryan genetic war.
Dystopia or utopia?
Who decides what’s good and bad?
When faced with dialectic choice
Who controls the genetic race?
And will we have a voice?
The first stone’s been laid.
I own my genes,
my chromosomes, my DNA.
I’m not enslaved by patent law.
My genes cannot be snatched away,
the supreme court of the USA
has now declared today.
But we know what lawyers are like.
13th June 2013
Notes: “US Supreme Court says human DNA cannot be patented.” Human genes may not be patented, but artificially copied DNA can be claimed as intellectual property, the US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously, saying that DNA came from nature and was not eligible for patenting. Around 40% of the human genome is subject to patents, researchers say. The court quashed patents held by a Utah-based firm on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The US biotechnology industry had warned any blanket ban on such patents would jeopardise huge investment in gene research and therapies. The court also ruled, however, that synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA can be patented “because they are not naturally occurring”.