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Genes report praised

Briefs

Cite as: (2003) 77(9) LIJ, p.17

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been commended by some of the world’s leading geneticists for its work on the implications of the use of human genetics.

International Human Genome Project chair Dr Francis Collins told the 19th International Congress on Genetics held in Melbourne in July that the ALRC’s recent report on the ethical, legal and social implications of advancements in genetics was a “truly phenomenal job”.

He said the report, the two-volume Essentially Yours: The Protection of Human Genetic Information in Australia, was in front of what the rest of the world was doing and had meant that “Australia has moved ahead in rather impressive ways”.

The report, which was released on 29 May this year, also drew praise from leading British medical geneticist Dr Sandy Raeburn, who told the Congress that the report was “the most clear and least biased description of genetics and insurance ever produced”.

The LIJ has published a column by the ALRC since August 1998. The ALRC column on the genetics report, “Patenting genes”, appeared in March 2003, page 82.

A copy of the report can be viewed at the ALRC’s website at http://www.alrc.gov.au/media/2003/mr2905.htm.

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