Monday, July 30, 2012

There is No "Book of Fair"!

By Rich Kozlovich

I came across a great article today by John Elder entitled, New protein could rival antibiotics. He writes:

“AUSTRALIAN scientists have made a breakthrough in finding a powerful alternative to antibiotics - at a time when the World Health Organisation is predicting a bleak future in which bug-killing drugs are so ineffective that ''a child's scratched knee or a strep throat could kill again''.  The threat of the world returning to a pre-antibiotic era has been fretted about for at least a decade because of microbes becoming increasingly resistant to drugs.  But Monash University researchers, in collaboration with Rockefeller University and the University of Maryland, have published a paper revealing the structure and workings of PlyC - a flying saucer-shaped protein that kills bacteria that cause infections from sore throats to pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.   PlyC is a viral protein, known as a bacteriophage lysin, that specifically infects and kills bacteria. James Whisstock, Ashley Buckle and Sheena McGowan from the School of Biomedical Sciences have spent the past six years deciphering PlyC's atomic structure - a crucial step in developing the protein into a drug therapy.”

I predict that if this actually becomes a workable solution that is marketable; the “Anti’s” will start wailing that “you can’t patent proteins!” This is the same claim that they make about genes; ‘you can’t patent genes’’!  Products that have been patented to increase food production and to save lives in medicine costing billions to produce. Do they really expect people to spend that kind of money and not have an assured return?

Let’s take a look at their actions on genetically modified foods.  Alan Caruba wrote an article entitled, Genetically Modified Foods: Ending Famine Forever

Throughout Europe, the effort is on to ban the import of GM foods. Here in the United States, legislation requiring that GM products be labeled has been introduced in Congress. Some major corporations have already caved into the Greenpeace demands that they not purchase GM crops in the manufacture of their food products. In Lansing, Michigan, a visiting associate professor had her office set on fire by radical environmentalists on New Year's Eve because she is engaged in research to increase food production and making food more nutritious.

Do you see a pattern here? The only people that want to insure that Famine remains one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the Greens.”

I have thought a great deal about this over the years and I have concluded that the reason they do this isn’t because of unfairness issues. That is an intellectual and emotional distraction from the real issue.  I believe they present these arguments to confuse the minds of the uninformed to create an issue between ‘big business’ and their unfair treatment of the ‘little guy’ in order to prevent good things for humanity.  I know on the surface this seems strange, but look back as see their views on many advances that have made mankind safer from diseases.  They believe that the only way to save the Earth is for humanity to cease to exist.  Here are some quotes from another article by Alan entitled, Genocidal Green Quotes.

“We have wished, we eco-freaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last!” – Steward Brand, writing in the Earth Catalog.

“Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.” - Dave Forman, founder of Earth First

“I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” - John Davis, editor of the Earth First Journal

“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run.” - An editorial in The Economist.

Although I will agree that it seems right that no company can patent anything they didn’t invent, especially since genes and proteins are naturally occurring.  The reality is that if there is no patent protection there will be no product.  If there is no product there will no solution to the problems they are spending billion to solve, albeit for profit.  But that isn’t a bad thing, and it isn’t necessarily greed, it is ‘enlightened self interest’, the greatest force for advancement and innovation in the world.   And I don’t particularly care how much money the people who work on these thing make. 

A couple of years ago I attended a world premiere of a film dealing with DDT and had the opportunity to talk to a number of people involved in the prevention of malaria from other areas of the world.  The conversation turned to antibiotics and medical drugs in general and their costs.  I said that I understood their concerns, but if there is no profit there would be no drugs.  I also said I understood that the poorer nations would have trouble providing their citizens these drugs because of the cost.  However, I pointed out that eventually these products would go out of patent and become part of the public domain and they would then be available much more cheaply.  Is it fair that some would continue to suffer because of costs? No!  But would it be fair if all humanity suffered unendingly because the products were never produced?  Let’s get this; fair cannot be defined and there is no divinely inspired “Book of Fair” to define it for us.  The end result is that as fallible human beings we are often left with picking the answer that is seemingly the most fair to the most people....and it will be done for profit or it won't happen.    

Please view this page on Bacteriophage therapy.   

###

No comments: