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Genetics, Commodification, and Social Justice in the Globalization Era

The commercialization of biotechnology, especially research and development by transnational pharmaceutical companies, is already excessive and is increasingly dangerous to distributive justice, human rights, and access of marginal populations to basic human goods. Focusing on gene patenting, this article employs the work of Margaret Jane Radin and others to argue that gene patenting ought to be more highly regulated and that it ought to be regulated with international participation and in view of concerns about solidarity and the common good. The mode of argument called for on this issue is more pragmatic than logical, emphasizing persuasion based on evidence about the reality and effects of control of genetic research by profit-driven biotech companies.

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