The Family Research Council reported the following legislative initiative offered in the House of Representatives by Congressman Weldon of Florida:
Copy Rights? Rep. Weldon Clamps Down on Cloning Patent
After months of debate, Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) has finally driven a
stake through the heart of the pro-cloning movement. Late last night,
as part of a voice vote, Dr. Weldon successfully added a human patenting
amendment to the Commerce/Justice/State Appropriations bill (HR 2799).
The amendment states that no funds made available by the
act may be "used to issue patents on claims directed to or encompassing
a human organism." You may remember that two years ago the U.S.
government gave the University of Missouri both property and
intellectual rights to cloning technology, and a controversy has since
ensued--giving rise to speculation that our country was in an ethical
free fall. However, passage of the Weldon amendment marks the first
time the House has taken a position that humans are not merchandise or
property that can be licensed, purchased, or sold. Surely few
scientists will want to devote their resources to cloning projects
without the assurance that they alone would be legally entitled to their
work and credited with future findings. Dr. Weldon, a pro-life champion
and friend, believes--as we do--that human embryos are people whose
copyright belongs to the Almighty. We will continue to work alongside
him to ensure that they receive full protection under the law.
All sounds vaguely similar to a certain article posted here just a few weeks ago.
Transcripts of the amendment’s offering read in part:"[i]t is important that we, as a civilized society, draw the line where some rogue scientists fail to exercise restraint. Just because something can be done does not mean that it should be done. A patent on such human organisms would last for 20 years. We should not allow such researchers to gain financially by granting them an exclusive right to practice such ghoulish research. Long-standing American patent and trademark policy states that human beings at any stage of development are not patentable, subject to matters under 35 U.S.C. section 101. Though current policy would not issue patents on human embryos, Congress has remained silent on this subject. Though this amendment would not actually ban this practice, it is about time that Congress should simply reaffirm current U.S. patent policy and ensure there is not financial gain or ownership of human beings by those who engage in these activities."
Bravo, Mr. Weldon!