Genes for sale

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Gene thieves are flocking to the Phillipines. In search of human DNA, as well as indigenous plants and animals, corporate scientists have already aquired lucrative patents on a pain-killing snail, a cancer-curing tree and several fruits and vegetables said to remedy diabetes, reports the EARTH TIMES. The Neurex corporation, for example, has brought home $80 million from snail chemical sales. Cromak Research in New Jersey raked in $500 million for an anti-diabetic extracted from two Phillipino vegetables.

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In the Phillipines, laws against such biopiracy are easily skirted, and the nature of the economy encourages the rural poor to trade away indigenous resources for a little money.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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