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Noted author, environmentalist and Columban priest, Sean McDonagh, has condemned the patenting of living things in a new publication from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

In Life: Creation or Commodity? The Case Against Patents on Living Things, Catholic Social Justice Series No 41, he argues that:

“Even if one accepts that the risks posed by genetically engineered products to human health and the environment are not serious enough to warrant banning them, there are sufficient ethical grounds for opposing the patenting of living organisms.  Over time, the patenting scramble will remove many life forms from the domain of the commons where they have provided many services for humans and other creatures.  Under a patenting regime these life forms will now become the private property of Northern transnational corporations.  Life will only have value in so far as it generates a profitable return on investment for large companies.”

“We are pleased to present Sean McDonagh’s clear analysis of this complex and topical issue.  Many Australians are concerned about genetically modified food but feel insufficiently informed to take a position and to act.  The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council hopes that Life: Creation or Commodity? The Case Against Patents on Living Things will help people to reflect on the issues and equip them to take a position.” said Sandie Cornish, National Executive Officer of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

Life: Creation or Commodity? The Case Against Patents on Living Things, Catholic Social Justice Series No 41 is to be launched at a public lecture by Fr McDonagh at 7.30pm Thursday 19 July at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.  Fr McDonagh is available for interview while in Australia on a speaking tour.

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