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“Privatization of Nature and Knowledge: Toward A Second Enclosure Movement” by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D. Adel PowerPoint Presentation
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“Privatization of Nature and Knowledge: Toward A Second Enclosure Movement” by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D. Adel

“Privatization of Nature and Knowledge: Toward A Second Enclosure Movement” by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D. Adel

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“Privatization of Nature and Knowledge: Toward A Second Enclosure Movement” by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D. Adel

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  1. Heinrich Boell Foundation 2004 Conference on BIOPOLITICSPrivatization of Nature and Knowledge. Under the BIOS Sign: Technology, Ethics, Diversity and Rights Mexico CityOctober 22-23, 2004 “Privatization of Nature and Knowledge: Toward A Second Enclosure Movement” by Marsha J. Tyson Darling, Ph.D. Adelphi University & The Committee on Women, Population and the Environment

  2. Today’s Major Ideas: • The privatization of nature and knowledge is the most complicated and complex issue being presented by a Second Enclosure Movement. • That new genetics based technologies are a centerpiece of globalization’s reach into our collective genetic knowledge. • That a “free market” economic trade mantra that derives force from the utilitarian, individualistic values created and strengthened by the First Enclosure Movement now threatens the gains made in furthering social justice, equality, democracy, and capacity building for global South nations and indigenous peoples

  3. Timeline for Techno-Eugenics 1953 – Structure of DNA deduced • 1960s – DNA code deciphered 1970s – First transgenic bacteria; first “test tube baby;” first transgenic mammals • 1980 - US Supreme Court authorizes creation of new life forms • 1980s – Human (non-inheritable) gene transfer experiments • 1996 – First cloned adult mammal (“Dolly”) • 1997 – Council of Europe’s Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights bans reproductive cloning • 1998 – First human embryonic stem cells cultured • 1998 – UCLA conference promoting “techno-eugenics” • Rouge scientists announce plans to clone humans • First transgenic monkey • Advanced Cell Technologies claims to have created clonal human embryos • Increasing reports of non-medical sex selection in U.S. fertility clinics • PGD increasingly used and advertised for non-medical sex selection • Gene targeting successfully applied to human embryonic stem cells • Mouse embryonic stem cells transformed into eggs

  4. Human Genome Diversity Project • Technology’s use is a vital “arm” of globalization. The HGDP, begun in the early 1990s, seeks to locate, collect and patent human genetic knowledge and offer it as privatized and commercially available genetic manufacturing commodities. Governments and genomic companies have sought to privatize knowledge itself -- human, plant and animal genetic information. For instance, in the early 1990s, the US govt secured a patent (WO9208784) on a 26 year old Guaymi woman from Panama, who was unaware that her body’s tissues had been patented, and it patented the DNA of 24 Hagahai from New Guinea, and a woman and man from the Solomon Islands.

  5. What’s Down About the New Genetics • Unethical medical experimentation • Restrain generative capacity and reduce fertility of people of color and the poor, not redistribute global resources more equitably • Expand generative capacity and enhance and increase fertility of white and affluent people, represent this initiative as a consumer choice in a world where the reality is that there is no gene for race, nor any other artificially crafted discriminatory concept. • Questionable informed consent; potential for coercion (e.g., of the ill or those in economic need) and deception towards the public (ingredients in foods and drugs) • Lax consumer protection by agencies of the state (FDA) • Genetic discrimination and stigmatization • Abandoning and usurping “Natural Evolution” • Privatization of all Knowledge • Reduction of all living matter to components and spare parts • Creating a market in embryos as spare parts for scientific and medical protocols

  6. What’s Down About the New Genetics • Creation of artificial wombs, thereby permitting male defined science to take over and control reproduction as a manufacturing undertaking; improvement of product control, “genetic enhancements” • Attacking and collapsing Biodiversity • Ignoring “Precautionary Principle” that would further human rights protections • Blurring the essential and regulatible/enforceable distinction between “Intended and Unintended Consequences” • Denying corporate accountability for product “mischief or misadventure” and denying state responsibility to protect consumers • Designing and using “ethnic specific and adverse” biotech weapons • Exacerbating health inequities How can we avoid a “genomic divide?” • At least 40 million people in the United States have no medical insurance • About a billion globally have no access to basic health care services • Many biotechnology-based therapies will remain very expensive • Conflicts between interests of researchers / companies and research subjects: Who benefits, who risks? • Potential for coercion (e.g., mandatory premarital or prenatal screening)

  7. Genetic Discrimination The combination of genetic and reproductive technologies is particularly powerful, and poses particular issues for women • Social pressures to produce certain kinds of children (e.g., boy babies) • Economic pressures to sell or “donate” eggs • Less control of one’s own reproductive decisions and experiences Disability rights advocates have criticized trait selection of embryos and emerging technologies of humangenetic modification • Critique of the “medical model” of disability • Will people with disabilities be viewed as “mistakes” who should not have been allowed to be born? • Legacy of abuse of people with disabilities in the name of eugenics

  8. Recommendations - 1 Progressive scientists and bioethicists everywhere must continually distinguish beneficial technologies that do not exacerbate social inequalities (for instance, the scientific inquiry and technologies that have created medicines like Ibopropen or Aspirin), from technologies that should be watched and regulated as they pose some risks even as they present benefits for some (for instance the uses of ultrasound and preimplantation genetic diagnosis for non sex-selection), from a third category of technologies that present such problematic circumstances or risks that they must not be allowed to develop (for instance, reproductive cloning of humans and terminator and traitor technological alteration of agricultural seeds).

  9. Recommendations - 2 • That those committed to social development alongside trade development articulate, publish, promote, disseminate alternatives to the myopic neoliberal policies of maximum deregulation, privatization, and liberalisation being promoted as necessary and good, even, as inevitable. • That we insist on exploring alternatives that use the opening decades of a new millenium to reinvigorate a commitment to protecting the public commons, and by extension advancing a “common good” globally. We must change the legacy of “deserving/undeserving.” • That global governance institutions and treaty bodies endeavor in earnest and with all deliberate speed to create a Convention on the Protection of Knowledge that establishes state level enforceable boundaries that protect human security, insist upon adherence to the precautionary principle of do no intended harm and minimize potential unintended harm, and concretize important safeguards for the protection of “intergenerational justice” based on the preservation and protection of biodiversity.

  10. Recommendations - 3 • That women and male allies insist on the enforcement of the right of “bodily integrity” for women and girls, 10) that citizen and civil society advocacy instigate greater environmental stewardship, including the creation of accountable regulatory structures sufficient to safeguard the Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem. • That governance structures with state level enforceable regulatory responsibility directed at decreasing not exacerbating social inequalities are sorely needed, and still wanting as increasingly it is civil society that is promoting democratic processes and outcomes and holding the seams of social development together.

  11. Recommendations- 4 • That a lexicon of concepts in addition to and perhaps at times more important than “autonomy” and “individualism” move to the forefront of how we grapple with the profound dynamics unleashed by the aggressive pursuit and marketing of biotechnological genetic interventions, in this vein, we are now overdue for a serious discourse on the moral status of “nature” and all that is associated with nature. • And while we are engaging discourses, we must expand on the debates and commitments to action that we are presently pursuing around social responsibility and social justice (including gender and disability justice), as well as intergenerational justice. In essence, social development cannot be put on hold, as it is our ongoing commitment to human rights that must be consistently advanced.