The potential for a bigger agenda

WASHINGTON - Although its leaders, including Jeremy Rifkin and Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson of the Reformed Church in America, have been longtime opponents of biotechnology, the Joint Appeal Against Human and Animal Patenting has succeeded in lining up a large number of religious leaders who were previously silent on the issues. Their success may rest, at least in part, on the ambiguity of some of their statements.

While the group has been careful to limit its explicit opposition to biotech's patenting of genes, the potential for a larger agenda lies not far below the surface.

The United Methodist Board of Church and Society, for example, states both that it is not fundamentally opposed to biotechnology and that it believes the commercial interests of biotechnology companies can be protected through process patents and licensing agreements.

The same page

Jaydee Hanson, assistant general secretary for the Board, told BioCentury that while