The appeal for petitioners The following letter, dated Feb. 3, appears under the letterhead of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church in Washington.

We are writing this letter on behalf of The Joint Appeal Against Human and Animal Patenting. The Joint Appeal represents a wide ranging group of religious leaders who are opposed to the patenting of human embryos, genes, cells and the patenting of animals including those with human genes engineered into their permanent genetic code. We've enclosed a partial list of religious leaders who have already signed the joint appeal.