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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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