Chairman Xavier Becerra on Supreme Court’s Gene Patent Decision

June 13, 2013

WASHINGTON – Congress Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement after this week’s unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision on Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, ruling that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes.  Congressman Becerra has sponsored legislation that would put an end to this practice of patenting any and all portions of the human genome.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for scientific freedom, common sense and for every American who believes the human body should not be eligible for patent by corporations.  Individuals, such as cancer patients, seeking to make informed health choices about genetic diseases should have access to their own medical information.  Doctors, working with patents, should have access to a patient’s personal information that helps them make life–altering decisions about treatment.  And our nation’s medical research institutions and professionals should have the freedom to do what they do best: discover, innovate and deploy tomorrow’s life-saving technology and treatment.  That’s what this unanimous Supreme Court said with an exclamation point!”