News of the WeekEUROPEAN SCIENCE POLICY

France Rebels Against Gene-Patenting Law

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2115
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2115a

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Summary

PARIS-- France is on a collision course with the European Union over an E.U. directive that many researchers believe would allow raw DNA sequences of human genes to be patented. On 7 June, French justice minister Elisabeth Guigou told the National Assembly that the directive--which must be enacted by each of the 15 E.U. member nations by 30 July--contradicts French bioethics laws, which forbid the patenting of any part of the human body. If France maintains its defiance, it could be fined up to $600,000 daily for each day it refuses to adopt the directive.