April 13,1998 The Nat,inn.




The Biotec,. I

Human l i f e s’ht

n little more than a generation, our definition of life and the sensational headlines and captured the public imagination, many
meaning of existence is likely to be radically altered. Long-held forces are quietly converging to create this powerful new social
assumptions about nature, including our own human nature, current.At the epicenter is a technology revolution unmatched in
are likely to be rethought. Many age-old practices regarding all of history in its power to remake ourselves, our institutions
sexuality, reproduction, birth and parenthood could be partially and our world: Scientists are beginning to reorganize life at the
abandoned. Ideas about equality and democracy are also likely to genetic level. The new biotechnologies are already reshaping a
be redefined, as well as our vision of what is meant by terms such wide range of fields, including forestry, agriculture, animal hus-
as “free will” and “progress.” Our very sense of self and society bandry, mining, energy, bioremediation, packaging and construc-
will likely change during what I call the emerging Biotech tion materials, pharmaceuticals, medicine, and food and drink.
Century, as it did when the early Renaissance spirit swept over Before our eyes lies an uncharted new landscape whose con-
medieval Europe more than 600 years ago. tours are being shaped in thousandsof biotechnology laboratories
Although Dolly the sheep and talk of cloning have gathered around the world.

the global life-science industry. While the technological expertise needed to acceptance of new biotechnologies. the Biotech Century brings with it a newcresource making the gene pool available. a new set of transformingtechnologies. enter. the computer is providing the communications and and corporate boardrooms in the North.” the twenty-first century-computer telecommunications.A global life-science industry is already beginning nomic and political forces that control the genetic resources to wield unprecedented power over the vast biological resources of the planet will exercise tremendous power over the future of the planet. are paving the way for the wholesale tion for their new “inventions. biotechnologies. animals and humans with rare genetic traits that might have fu- netic screening. Recombinant DNA mercial protection. It’s all a and acquisitions going on in the other great technology arenas of question of how. Together.000 genes ready scouting the continents.new cosmological narrative. biotech the imminent prospect of genetic engineering of human eggs. the mapping of the approximately 100. of nature compatible with the operating assumptions of the new Great economic changes in history occur when a number technologies and the new global economy. an emerging eugenics science. meeting with strong resistance from nongovernmental organi- 0 Fifth. ically engineered tissue. manipulate and exploit genetic resources a new supporting sociology. reality. ciety are amplifications of they create a framework for a new economic era: nature’s own principles a&. The eco- ary scheme. Microsoft chainnan Bill Gates sums up the new collabo- search. theories of evolution are beginning to remake the world. most of the genetic re- sources that are essential to fuel the new revolution lie in the This article is adapted froin Jeremy Rijkin’s new book. genes.1998 Global life-sciencecompanies like Novartis. Glmo Wellcome. human gene screen- processes used to alter them. as well as the life patents. companies to locate.” I tech Century by suggesting see seven strands composing * the planet’s genetic resources will exercise that the way we are reorgan- the operating matrix of the tremendous power over the world economx . C. identify and recombine genes is In short. ark quickly maneuver. that make up the human genome and new breakthroughs in ge. download. makes up the biotech economy. a global trading market to reseed the earth techniques and other biotechnologies allow scientistsand biotech with an artificial Second Genesis. and bio- and products. for use in the bioindustrial age. control over world markets. mergers we are deciphering and trying to decide to change. therefore. justifiable. Life-science fields ranging from agriculture to world economy.” alteration of the human species and the birth of a commercially Corporate effortsto enclose and commodifythe gene pool are driven eugenics civilization. genet. Merck and Dow Chemical. somatic gene therapy and ture market potential. the ability to isolate. as the primary base. the globalization of commerce and trade make pos- sible the wholesale reseeding of the Earth’s biosphere with a Human Life as Intellectual Property laboratory-conceived Second Genesis. Together.the new cultural currents. Multinational corporations are al- 0 Fourth. The Biotech tropical ecosystems of the South. All over the world. a spate of new scientific studies on the genetic basis zations and countries in the Southern Hemisphere. including DNA chips. just as the industrial age access to’and con- medicine are being consolidated under the umbrella of giant trol over fossil fuels and valuable metals helped determine “life” companies in the emerging biotech marketplace. Transnationalcompanies argue Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World (Tarcher/ that patent protection is essential if they are to risk financial re- Putnam). however. After locating the desired traits. D. Rijlcin is president of the Foundation on Economic Treads sources and years of research and development bringing new and in Washington. Typical of the trend is the bold decision by the Mon. Q Third. ganize and manage economic activity at the genetic level and a 0 Second. are using computersto decipher. 0 First. hoping to locate microbes. is giving the marketplace the com.catalogue and organ- ing to exert their influence and control over the new genetic ize genetic information. plants. development and marketing in biotech-based technologies rative efforts by saying.12 The Nation. “This is the information age. enes are the “green gold” of the Biotech Century.dium to manage the genetic information that SmitbKline Beecham. Computationaltechnologies and santo Corporation. organizational me. April 13. computers and revised mercial incentive to exploit the new resources. izing our economy and so- Biotech Century. in turn. 0 Seventh. The new ideas about of technological and social nature provide the legitimiz- forces come together to create The economic and political forces that contyol ing framework for the Bio- a new “operating matrix. Rohm and Haas. Du Pont. Up. The consolidation of the life-science industry by logical information is probably the most interesting information global commercial enterprises rivals the consolidations. long a world leader in chemical products. companies are modifying them and then seeking patent protec- sperm and embryonic cells. which are of human behavior and the new sociobiology that favors nature beginning to demand an equitable sharing of the fruits of the over nurture are providing a cultural context for the widespread biotech revolution. not if. useful products to market. creating a new store of genetic capital commerce. new forms of com- raw resource for future economic activity. Eli Lilly. cell lines. the awarding of patents on genes. manipulate the new green gold resides in scientific laboratories Q Sixth. for the first time. ing and surgery. a new communicationstool to or- for specific economic ends. a new cosmological narrative about evolution is tainment and informationservices-although much less attention beginning to challenge the neo-Darwinian citadel with a view has been focused on it in the media and public policy. an artificially produced bioindustrial nature designed to replace nature’s own evolution. to genetic technologies are fusinginto a powerful new technological sell off its entire chemical division in 1997 and anchor its re. argue . Southern countries. organs and organisms. researchers john.

action. profes- event that there is some gene that becomes commercially valuable. however. patent application. with its that the commercial value of the genetic information emerging diverse cultures and inbred populations. said at the time that he valuable herbs and plant crops.000 linguistically distinct populations in order to assess their sion for considerations relating to the sources of the cells that genetic makeup and search for any unique genetic traits they may be the subject of a patent application. make their sovereign space a “patent-free zone. It’s arguing that the gene pool ought not to be for sale at any fundamentally immoral.I. com- mons free of commercial exploitation.S. and cell lines taken from citizens world. could then seek to patent a genetic trait of the Guaymi and profit A growing number of nongovernmental organizations. The 1. when the Rural to the disease.that violates the integrity of life precedent in the recent historic decision by the nations of the itself-and our deepest sense of morality. as well as those of many other countries. A re.. as well from their biological inheritance in the global marketplace: as some countries. sor of molecular biophysics at the Indian Institute of Science in the people who donated it-not the individual. To patent human material . patented. When the effort headed by Dr. An Alaska businessmanfound that his own additional patent claims inthe pecting the human genome United States and Europe for itself in remote regions of the body parts had been patented by U. subject that the group planned to take blood samples from the world‘s matter relating to human cells is patentable and there is no provi- 5. The GUaymi formal agreements between collaboratingparties. could some form of compensation for their contribution to the biotech so wantonly violate the genetic privacy of his tribe and that the revolution.H. they claim was shocked that an august scientific body like the N. are beginning to take a third position. C. a population government of the Solomon Islands issued a protest. therefore. Project sponsors hope that by sampling the genomes of the In March’1995.” The United netic variety exists before it’s irretrievably lost.S. has Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown responded curtly: been the subject of increasing controversy since it became public Under our laws. government. a nongovernmental or. They cite ’ DNA and patent its products. world to maintain ihe continent of Antarctica as a global. April 13.” The action came in the wake . Scientists are now searching for the gene or genes Advancement Foundation International. saying it is important to seek out whatever remaining ge.S. Bangalore. they will find some “genetic to the Department of Health and Human Services. both at present and in the future. For example. by the Guaymi General Congress in Panama waged a public protest. government filedtwo biotech companies biopros. may have that might prove important and useful in the future. ideal setthg for gene prospecting.S.H. I never imagined people would patent plants and animals.14 The Nation. then- geneticist and professor emeritus at Stanford University.S. either as a result States quietly dropped the patent claim in 1996. the U.S. contrary to the G u a m view of nature. where cholera is an should somehow share in the advantages. a scientific Papua New Guinea. that “in the unlikely and we have the mutations. of the extinction of these populations or through their melding T into the general population. .Angry at the U. cell-lines. making it surprisesyy that could be a boon to humankind in its search for the first human cell line from an indigenous population to be new ways to improve the genetic makeup of the race. price-that it should remain an open commons and continue and our place in it. The controversy over patenting genes from in- gency of late with increasing reports of scientific institutions as digenous peoples flared again. president of the congress. without advising the Guaymi of its intentions. in West Bengal. representativesof before the scientists ever seteyes on the organism and gene. That being the case.. DNA.to take human to be used freely by present and future generations.G. Cavalli. is consideredto be an from the Human Genome Diversity Project may make such no. .. that might confer the genetic advantage in hopes of finding a new ganization. discovered that the U. dubbed the “vampireproject” by its nations prepared a joint proposal and communiqu6 that would critics. The public protest forced the U. Cavalli-Sforza says that while his he Indian government has also expressed its deep misgivings personal view is that there should be no patents on DNA.A. “Name any genetic disorder tions . The Hum& Genome a court ruled that he had no pyoperty n‘ghts! of the Solomon Islands and Diversity Project. cell line was of particular interest to N. researchers because hade it clear that any such agreement should specify “the ob- members of this remote Indian community carry a unique virus jectives of the project and the anticipated scientific material that stimulates the production of antibodies that scientists ’ believe imd economic benefits and the manner that they are to be shared might be useful in A I D S and leukemia research. he felt about research efforts to secure blood sambles. Patent Office issued a patent for few groups of indigenous peoples that have remained isolated the Papua New Guinea Human T-lymphotrophic virus (HTLV-I) from the rest of the outside world. U. and international patents on a virus derived from the cell In January 1996the Indian Society of Human Genetics issued line of a 26-year-old Guaymi Indian woman from Panama.L. Luigi . government to withdraw its The debate over life patents has taken on even greater ur.” says Samir Brahmachari. villagers and peasant farniers who isolate.He suggests.Luca Cavalli-Sforza. India. skeletal and fossil material” pending sample fkom the woman and developed the cell line.I.1998 that the real research and development effort takes place years Upon learning about the patent application.impractical. but the group.. U. a large group of people appear to be immune The concerns of critics came alive in 1993.S.S. enhance and preserve Isidro Acosta. a set of guidelines calling for a ban on the transport of %hole searcher from the National Institutes of Health had taken a blood blood. several months later when well as pharmaceutical and the U.” ever-present threat. a group of SouthPacific island Sforza defends the research. government had sought both form of treatment for the disease.H.

relationships with Myriad. a $69 million research agreement with the genomic firm. The top ten a scientific expedition led by Dr.L. Several of the largest life-sciencecompanies are strategi- forty square miles in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean often re- ferred to as the world’s loneliest island. ~ world’s top ten pharmaceutical firms control 47 percent of The “genomics” firms are on the commercial frontier of the the $197 billion pharmaceutical market. an Alaska supposed to contain the partial sequences for nearly 100. Council of Medical Research said it should have been notified science complexes from which to fashion a bioindustrial of the research in advance. creating life.S.C. a University of agrochemical companies control 81 percent ofthe $29 billion Toronto medical geneticist. Eli Lilly has entered into an agreement with Millen. the court argued. who spoke Bayer. “candidate genes” responsible for asthma. Toppingthe life-science list are ten transnatio@ food and drink companies. f i i whose database is United States.5 National Eye Institute were searching for genes chemical concerns. as Indian law forbids the export of world Global pharmaceutical companies spent more than biological material without permission from the I. The Indian businesses.A. pharmaceutical giants are the best and most efficient way to advance the research.S.L. The new biotech start-up companies dedicated to gene prospecting.-based genomic propertyright over his own tissue. by U. Pfizer.6 billion the t seems there is no place on earth too remote for the gene same year on licensing arrangementswith them. $3.” said one ge- agreements with many of the human genomic companies. a U. Ten life-science companies con. SmithKline Beecham has made a $125 million research Moore subsequentlysued the University of California. medical ahd health that cause retinitis pigmentosa. including the Monsanto Corporation. from the N.000 businessman named John Moore found his own body parts had genes.A.H. National Institutes of Health was il- 1 Bio-takeovers legally securing DNA and blood samples from patients at private eye hospitals in India without obtaining the appropriate author- ization required to take samples out of the countryeKesearchers lobal conglomeratesare rapidly buying up biotech start- up companies. or night blindness. neticist working for a large pharmaceutical company. without his knowledge. a U. as well as entered into spleen tissue and obtained a patent on its “inventiony’in 1984. holding that he had no property right over his own body tissues. The cell line is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion.7 million cancer agents. diagnosed as having a rare cancer and underwent treatment at lion research agreement with Gene Medicine. Scientists enterprises-the pharmaceutical company Sandoz and the hope to find the gene or genes responsible and patent them. genomics companies like Sequana to the patient’s body.C. a company doing genomic research to the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corporation. April 13. Genetic Therapy held license on a broad in the field. J. I 43 percent of the $15 billion veterinary pharmaceuticalsmar. Corange Internationalmade a $100 mil. Novartis and Eli Lilly have developed commercial off the record to Nature magazine’s editor. quana and other genomics firmsmaintain that market incentives Du Pont and AgrEvo. and licensed nium pharmaceuticals.16 The Nation.5 billion in 1995buying up biotech firms. and food and drink companies. For their part. commercially and could not hope to turn a profit if they couldn’t Other global life-science firms are close on the heels of keep their research proprietary-at least until it’s patented. However. whose sales exceeded $211billion in 1995. second-largest land’s 300 residents and later reported that it had located two seed company and second-largest pharmacebtical firm. In April 1997 the LosAngeles Times reported on The concentration of power is impressive.S. In a precedent-setting case in California. The Sequana team traveled. Sequana is one of a handful of trol 37 percent of the $15 billion global seed market. Synthelabo of France has bought a $9. agribusiness and agro. seed companies. genomic U.I. Novartis is ’ Company scientists took blood samples from 270 of the is- the world’s largest agrochemical company. considerations above collaborative efforts to find a cure for tient. The university created a cell line from Moore’s equity investment in Genset of France. Moore had been on atherosclerosis. Human body parts. An attending physician and university researcher dis- firm. Be. pharmaceutical. modifying their genetic makeup and returning them the disease. to the tiny volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha. Novartis. hunters to go. . in 1995. a U. Sandoz purchased Genetic Therapy company has refused to share its findings with other researchers for $295 million. claiming a agreement with Human Genomics. “The issue is a nightmare. a giant new global makes this small inbred local population interesting to Zamel firm resulting from the $27 billion merger of two Swiss and his team is that half of them suffer from asthma. Court ruled against Moore. covered that Moore’s spleen tissue produced a blood protein that quana Therapeutics to advance gene work on obesity and facilitates the growth of white blood cells that are valuable anti- diabetes. peutics of La Jolla.G. Se- Novartis. and in addition I to outright acquisition spent approximately$1. agrochemical company Ciba-Geigy-is typical. are purchasing equity holdings in and establishingresearch Others aren’t so sure. California. and financed by Sequana Thera- global agrochemical market.S. been patented. Ten firms control emerging biotech revolution.H.-based genomic company Foreign nationals aren’t the only ones whose cell lines and that discovered a breast cancer gene. Noe Zamel. In 1990 the California Supreme firm. giving rise to charges that it is putting commercial patent covering the technique for removing cells fiom a pa. a strip of ’ 1 ket. The acquisition guaranteedNovartis a acknowledge that they’re in business to exploitthe human genome foothold in the fledgling science of human gene therapy. Dow Elanco. Meanwhile.1998 of revelations that the US. What market in the coming century.R. Its few hundred residents cally positioned to control much of the global bioindustrial are the descendants of British sailors who arrived in 1817. GIaxo Wellcome has a five-year agreement with Se. Pharmacia and genomes are being patented by commercial companies in the Upjohn have invested in Incyte. thus far the fore the merger. by way of a South African Navy ship. a US.

while not the property of Moore. . the way we express our faith. had breached their fiduciary responsibilityand then head of the N. human family has picked up substantial momentum over the In May 1995 a‘coalition of more than 200 religious leaders. the near- pluirztzfi the source of the cells. and legally sanctioned slavery was abolishedin every cal establishment.S. making them the exclusive property cells from plaintiff by improper means. covering all ing that every human being has intrinsic value and “God-given human bone-marrow stem cells. Dr.S: taxpayers. for knowing the function or role of the gene.liability. health advocates and socialjustice organizations an article on a family. in large part because of the quickened pace including the titular heads of virtually every major Protestant de- of mapping and sequencing the approximately 100. way we engage in politics. to a U. many in the molecular biology field see with intrinsic value and therefore can never be legitimately re- no apparent ethical problem or moral dilemma in gene prospect. Many was captured by Judge Allen Broussard in his dissentingopinion. part of the human body. ever to fzce the human family. researchers working on the Human GenomeProject were shocked He wrote that and angry. and then wins a Pulitzer Prize. especially when we stop to consider that the commercial institutions-are illustrated quite poignantly in biotech revolution will affect every aspect of our lives. the signed his government post to head up a genomics company court upheld the primary claim of the university that the cell funded by a venture capital fund. duced to commercial intellectual property controlled by global ing and are laying claims to vast regions of the human genome. firm. past several years.18 The Nation.S.H. It should be emphasizedthat this patent was awarded simply he debate over life patents is one of the most important issues because Biocyte was able to isolate the blood cells and deep.L. The irony of the decision seeking patents on more than 2. California. making it a very valuable commercial T asset. from obtaining the benefit of ly 100. Blood cells firom the umbilical cord are particularly important The Backlash for marrow transplants. calledtheventer patent claims “sheer terials above the marketplace. The increasing consolidation of corporate control over the T he extraordinary implications of privatizing the human genetic blueprints of life as well as the technologies to exploit body-parceling it out in the form of intellectual property to them is alarming. the ownership of all human blood cells that have come from the um. even in the medi. agribusiness and biotech full economic value of their ill-gotten gains free of.000 or so genes that constitute the genetic legacy of our the cell’s value. How. ever. does he around the world are coalescinginto a new and powerfid counter- give the family a percentage of his winnings?’ vailing force to the growing genetic commerce that trades in the The entrepreneurial scramble to patent the genome of the blueprints of life. or mere utility. The patent gives the firm the way our children are raised and educated. the very concept of patenting life. more than a hundred Catholic bishops and Jewish. line itself. A number of scien- the majority’s rejection of plaintiff‘s conversion cause of action tists were upset because Venter sought patents on genes before does not mean that body parts may not be bought and sold for research or commercial purpose or that no private individual or even knowing their function. life-science conglomerates and traded as mere utilities in the Arnold Slutsky of the Samuel Lunenfield Institute of the Mount marketplace. This patent on a human body rights” and cannot be made the personal commercial property part was awarded despite the fact that Systemix had done nothing of another human being. Life patents strike at the core freeze them. with abolitionists argu- of Palo Alto. James Watson. that make up the human genome. Feminists. by the U. it’s likely that within less than ten years. Systemix. of our beliefs about the very nature of life and whether it is Still.I. cord to any individual or institution unwilling to pay the patent fee. century. As soon as a gene is tagged. animal rights groups. . farmers.for more than $70 million. country in the world where it was still being practiced. charging Venter with attempting to profit from re- search initially paid for by U. Leukemia Society ofAmerica. In 1991J. Abril13. The way the case of a patent awarded by the European Patent Office we eat. could justifiably be At the same time. the company now possesses commercial control over this to be conceived of as having intrinsic. consumer Sinai Hospital ofToronto asks rhetorically. The abolitionists’ argument ultimately whatsoever to alter or engineer the cells. Patent Office.000 human brain genes. chemical. Some. to retain and exploit the of global pharmaceutical. re- might be liable for some kind of monetary damage.” Still. arguing that life is imbued On the other hand. The last great debate of this kind occurred in the nineteenth A similarlybroad patent was awarded to a U. entity may benefit economically from the fortuitous value of co-discoverer of the DNA double helix and the former head of plaintiff’s diseased cells. Nobel laureate Dr. the way we have our babies. the way bilical cord of a newborn child and are being used for any thera.A. “Where do you draw the a new generation of genetic activists is beginning to challenge line? Can you patent a hand?.the way we work.were stunned by the Patent Office’s decision. often before even inform Moore of the commercial potential of his tissue and. the majority’s holding simply bars lunacy. the medical affairs vice chairman of the Like the anti-slavery abolitionists of the nineteenth century. that reason alone.000 genes nomination. Still. quipped. over the issue of human slavery. Far from elevating these biological ma- the Human GenomeProject. who allegedly obtained the species will be patented. companies. Genome Mapping Research Team. the way we date and marry. 1998 could not be bartered as a commodity in the marketplace. but permits defendants.. The patent is so broad that it allows this one dividual and shared realities will be deeply touched by the new company to refuse the use of any blood cells from the umbilical technologies of the Biotech Century. value. prevailed. “If a journalist writes organizations.C. Venter and his colleagues filed applications claimed as the property of U. The company made no change in the blood itself.S. the court did say that the “inventors” had a responsibilityto its “discoverer” is likely to apply for a patent. Peter Quesenberry. Craig Venter. we perceive the world around us and our place in it-all our in- peutic purposes. company named Biocyte.

and the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC). selves. Then they lege. The effort Nevertheless. But a few weeks earlier. John Slaughter.. but it and volunteering for the AIDS Service Center-much of it hardly ever gets covered in the mainstreammedia. a Women’s Center and a gay/lesbian paign at OccidentalCollege. statement criticizing the oil giant’s support for the military which recruits students to support union organizing campaigns. US. and free of commercial exploitation. religious leaders . tial quality that might differentiate it from the strictly mechani- an executive with the United Methodist Church. not charity.the largest assemblageof U.’ explained Sara Hunt.S.” gible and immediate. connection had never been politically active before. Abril13. Massachusetts-based training program and schools. II LIKE. In addition. including tutoring at local elementary Organizing. IT AIN’T THE SIXTIES-BUT T H E E ’ S PLENTY O F ACTIVISM QN CAMPUS. 1 he front-page headline in the January Los The campus has a crazy-quilt of student 1’ Angeles Times didn’t mince words: Tresh- men Get High Marks-in Apathy.”While not all the critical struggles of the Biotech Age. tion pushing U. tempt by “man7’to stake his own claim as the prime mover and to come together on an issue of mutual interest in the twentieth sovereign architect of life on earth. dictatorship in Burma.S. different issues. from Plano.” said Sonya Huber ofthe Center for Campus munity service projects. Mexico. Jaydee Hanson. when they see that it may not be changing anything. its students and faculty are economicallyand politi. The effort was organizedby the Foundation shifting authorship from God to scientists and transnational on Economic Trends. a 1. How can life a world where they come to think of all life as mere invention- be defined as an invention to be profited from by scientists and where the boundaries between the sacred and the profane. to issue a public darity efforts. the paper educating the campus about events in Chiapas. close to half the student body is involved in com- i “That’s typical. that humans and animals are creations of God.” in turn. working with homeless shelters and abused women.’s director. “There’s a great deal of campus activism. devoid of any unique or essen- but it can’t be both.S. is going to become one of the as such should not be patented as inventions. like the Vietnam C. Buddhist and Hindu leaders.A.L. There’s no single focal point. a Latino group that is fighting d growing careerism and declining interest California’s anti-aff irmative action policy and in politics. 1 activism. “but some students get fixstrated Huber’s analysis certainly reflects the reality at Occidental Col. Texas.’” she says. said that the patenting of life marked the most serious What might it mean for subsequent generations to grow up in challenge to the notion of God’s creation in history. reducing theologians? Either life is God’s creation or a human invention. announcedtheir opposition opposition to the patenting of the life forms and the parts them- to the granting of patents on animal and human genes. Hunt .C. News & World Many of the students involved in protest over Arc03 Bunna Report ranked it number one in commitmentto diversity in 1997. not humans. corporations to divest from Burma. clearinghouse.-sponsorednational survey of first-year college students that . they are unanimous in their much of the political agenda of the Biotech Century.VC. who was a key organizer of the protest. including environmentalistswho pro- mote recycling and research siting of hazard- ous waste facilities in Los Angelis County. organs. in which students $ discussiongroups. a freshman prograiti at Occideiital ColIege in Los Angeles. . a national organiza- cally comparableto counterparts at other four-year colleges. which I head. try to find ways to make systemic change. These “direct service” activities often at any time since the late sixties. century. life itself to an objectified status. 19 Muslim.” Huber claims coordinated by the student-run Center for Volunteerism and there are as many students involved in social activism today as Community Service.”The story summarized a U. said. Occidental is a selec. and be- corporations when it is freely given as a gift of God. 1998 The Nation. defining used to create transgenic life forms. companies and are determined to hold the line against any at- The coalition. MAN. 9 Intemational working on human rights and soli- who sits on the Atlantic Richfield (Arco) board. had failed to report on a successfulprotest cam. explains Melissa Mazin. Speaking for the coalition. ask the tween h t r i ~ ~and ~ i utility c value. R/IECHA/ALAS. was instigatedby the Free Bunna Coalition. “Genetic rights.a Boston.600-student liberal arts institution. “Students like doing something that is tan- War or civil rights. They are keenly aware of the profound consequences of tissues and organisms. “Lots of students here had never heard of Burma. organizations like Amnesty persuaded the collegepresident. much less its govern- Peter Dreier is a profssor ofpolitics and director of the public policy ment’s human rights abuses.” tive college and an unusually diverse one. have all but disappeared. “but it’s spread around a lot of have a politicizing impact on students. located about three 8 group that bring speakersto campus and sponsor miles from the Times building. “We believe cal? The battle to keep the earth’s gene pool an open commons. of nt- I PETERDBETEB. is religious leaders oppose “processs7patents for the techniques likely to emerge as the seminal issue of the coming era. so it’s harder to see.

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