High Court scuttles MP’s plan — and she’s thrilled

MELISSA PARKE’S plans to legislate against human gene patenting has been scuttled in the High Court — and she couldn’t be happier.

Earlier this week the High Court unanimously ruled against US firm Myriad Genetics, which claimed it held the patent to a particular gene linked to breast cancer.

The court agreed with Brisbane grandmother Yvonne D’Arcy, who’d challenged Myriad, that the gene existed in nature so had been discovered rather than invented.

The ruling means Ms Parke’s crusade to make illegal the patenting of human genes is redundant.

“This week’s ground-breaking, unanimous high court decision that Myriad’s breast cancer gene patent is invalid, vindicates the long struggle of cancer patients and health groups against the patenting of human genes,” the federal Fremantle Labor MP said.

Even so, she’s concerned clauses in the just-signed Trans Pacific Partnership could see it challenged by a multinational corporation.

by STEVE GRANT

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