Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We Need Your Help - Take back YOUR Genes!

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the BRCA genes are under patent and this has created a corporate monopoly, driven up the cost of testing, and had a huge impact on clinical care and research for hereditary breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. We need your help.

Please take the time to watch the video at If you believe in this campaign, visit the slide show, print out your own sign (at the bottom of the page) and submit a picture of yourself holding the signto the ACLU. Please share this e-mail with your friends, family members and colleagues who are interested in cancer research and treatment, bioethics, and women's rights. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, please post the video and pass on. You can also post your picture with the “I Take Back My Genes” sign as your profile picture. Recruit friends and family members who are into social networking to help you. If you have friends and family members in high school or college, ask them to serve as Ambassadors at their schools to spread the word.

Now is our chance to be heard. Please help us Take Back Our Genes.

Ellen Matloff


Today the ACLU is launching a public education campaign to illustrate the harms of gene patenting. In 2009, twenty medical professional associations, geneticists, genetic counselors, patients, and breast and women’s health groups, represented by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), filed a lawsuit challenging patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Recently a divided appeals court ruled that companies may patent the genes, reversing a trial court’s invalidation of the patents. We have petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the case.

The campaign - “Taking Back Our Genes” – is designed to showcase (through photos and stories) the impact of gene patenting on people’s lives. You can view the slideshow, video (featuring ovarian cancer patient Kathleen Maxian and genetic counselor Ellen Matloff), and blog. Please help us collect stories by sharing widely with relevant contacts, listservs, and social media networks.

Please help us spread the word. You can help in a number of ways:

·Send an email about the campaign to relevant contacts, listservs or member lists asking people to share their story and photo with us at:

·Leverage your social media networks! If you are active on Twitter please share links to the campaign using the hashtag. #TakingBackOurGenes

·Share on Facebook and ask your friends and followers to join the campaign.

·Cross post our blog on the topic.