The U.S. congressional process produces a flurry of activity when lawmakers prepare to leave on recess, or to adjourn a legislative session. Often, legislative initiatives take the form of last-minute amendments to bills, often designed to be slipped in under the noses of the opposition. With Congress rushing to its August recess, the Biotechnology Industry Organization has found itself busy defending the industry on several fronts: patents (Cover Story), SBIR grants and FDA reform (A4).

WASHINGTON - Rep. Greg Ganske (R-Iowa) this week plans to introduce an amendment to the appropriations bill for the departments of Commerce, State and Justice that would, in effect, impose a one-year ban on the issuance or processing of patents with claims covering medical procedures.