Biotech's Hall of Mirrors
by Jonathan Matthews
In November 2002, Val Giddings, the Biotechnology Industry Organization's Vice President of Food and Agriculture, wrote in Nature Biotechnology about an event that took place at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. It was "something new, something very big" wrote Giddings; an occasion that would make us "look back on Johannesburg as something of a watershed event " a turning point".
Life After the Central Dogma
The biotech industry was launched on the scientific myth that organisms are hardwired in their genes, a myth thoroughly exploded by scientific findings accumulating since the mid 1970s and especially so since genome sequences have been accumulating (see Living with the Fluid Genome, by Mae-Wan Ho ).
We bring you the latest surprises that tell you why our health and environmental policies based on genetic engineering and genomics are completely misguided; and more importantly, why the new genetics demands a thoroughly ecological approach.
U.K. Court Revokes Amgen Patent
LONDON Britain's highest court on Thursday revoked a drug patent held by Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company, in a move with wide-ranging implications for the pharmaceutical industry in Europe.
The House of Lords ruled that Amgen was not entitled to a monopoly on the anemia drug Epogen because claims on its patent were too broad. The decision upholds an earlier verdict from the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favor of the Amgen challengers Transkaryotic Therapies and Sanofi-Aventis.
Monsanto Market Power Scrutinized in Lawsuit
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - Monsanto Co.'s domination of the biotech
crop market is indisputable.
The company controls 100 percent of the market for certain specialized
soybean and corn seeds that help farmers fight weeds, along with more
than 80 percent of the market for a corn that resists destructive
insects. In all, Monsanto corn and beans strains are planted annually on
more than 70 million acres of U.S. farmland.
No other competing agroscience company even comes close to matching
States, cities court biotech, but is it worth it?
June 09. 2004 5:06PM
By PAUL ELIAS
AP Biotechnology Writer
Governors and mayors from across the country were in full force at the biotech industry's annual convention this week, offering tax breaks, government grants - even help with parking - to lure biotech companies.
Yet biotech remains a money-losing, niche industry firmly rooted in three small regions of the country.