From ARTISTpres@aol.com Tue Jul 4 14:59:00 2000
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000 00:37:18 —0500 (CDT)
Subject: The Human Genome Project and Eugenics By R Lederman
Today we are learning the language in which God created life...humankind is on the verge of gaining immense new power to heal. Genome science will have a real impact on all our lives, and even more on the lives of our children. It will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.
With these words President Clinton announced the completion of the mapping of the human genome on 6/26/2000. Will this scientific accomplishment usher in a new age of disease—free human life or begin an epoch in which our social status, and even our right to exist, is based on an analysis and classification of our genes?
Leaving aside the possibility that the claim to have decoded the human genome might be grossly—exaggerated or even totally false should we be thrilled about our prospects for improved health and longevity, or instead be trembling at the prospect of an entire society based on Eugenics? There are excellent reasons to be very afraid of what this development will mean for us all in the very near future.
The Human Genome Project is headquartered at the Cold Springs Harbor laboratory on Long Island, NY—the exact site of the notorious Eugenics Research Office started in 1910 by the Harriman family. The Human Genome Project is thus a direct continuation of the Eugenics movement begun in the early part of the 20th century.
Throughout its history the Eugenics movement has advanced an agenda that if fully recognized and understood for what it is would shock most people living in our current society of relative tolerance and diversity. Prominent advocates of Eugenics in the US, including the Rockefellers, Henry Ford and Margaret Sanger, wanted the government to decide who could reproduce and how many offspring they could have; which ethnic groups should be excluded from immigrating to the U.S. based on their alleged inferiority; and which medical and psychological conditions should qualify one for sterilization or euthanasia.
By the start of WWII 25 States in the U.S. had already passed Eugenics laws requiring forcible sterilization, a policy which was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Tens of thousands of American citizens, most of them minorities, were ordered sterilized. Many States were on their way to passing laws requiring euthanasia for the handicapped, the mentally ill and for career criminals.
Adolf Hitler publicly praised the U.S. policy and copied many of its features for the Nazi system which eventually resulted in the Holocaust. Due to the emerging awareness of the Holocaust after WWII and of the extent to which Hitler and Axis powers like Japan had planned to depopulate whole nations and even entire continents, the public promotion of Eugenics experienced a temporary setback.
After WWII, many top officials involved in creating and administering these Nazi policies were brought to the U.S. by our own government and placed in universities, in the military and in scientific institutions and think tanks where their ideas have exerted a tremendous but seldom recognized influence. The CIA, which was started right after WWII, was deeply involved in importing these Nazi officials—supposedly for the purpose of fighting Communism.
The expertise and ideas of these former Nazis have been behind many of the most controversial U.S. government policies during the ensuing decades. The business dynasties which have dominated American foreign and domestic policy for a century and which were avid supporters of Hitler, among them the Rockefeller and Bush families, have continued to promote the exact same goals of Eugenics that were pursued in previous decades.
In the past 15 years genetically—engineered foods have become so commonplace that many scientists fear the genetically—modified genes corporations have spliced into everything from fish and fowl to fruits and vegetables have already permanently altered the world’s food supply. Some of these genetically—engineered foods may be intended to accomplish the same population—reduction goals as Eugenics.
Many Western European nations no longer allow the importation of U.S. produced meat, grain, dairy or produce because they fear that all have been contaminated with modified genes, pesticides, artificial hormones and animal feed containing fecal matter and ground up diseased animal tissues. While priding ourselves on being the only remaining superpower, we the American people have become lab rats for the corporate interests that actually run this country.
These corporate interests have pushed the Human Genome Project to its current advanced state. If one examines the history of these same corporate interests, specifically as applied to promoting Eugenics, there is no reason whatsoever for optimism. Even during his speech praising the wonders of the new technology, President Clinton felt obliged to acknowledge serious concerns that the sequencing of the human genome could lead to new forms of discrimination.
Probably the single greatest irony in the human genome issue is the idea being marketed to the public that this scientific advance will lead to the average person enjoying a much longer and healthier life. In light of governmental resistance to preventing corporate pollution of the environment, developing renewable sources of energy, banning the use of toxic chemicals and insecticides or protecting the food supply from contamination, can we really expect that this technology will be used to extend human life generally?
Politicians claim there is an imminent crisis facing the social security system right now. How much worse will that crisis be if tens of millions of Americans who might otherwise have died in their sixties and seventies from chronic disease live into their nineties and beyond? Be assured that those in control have no intention of allowing this to happen.
The far likelier scenario is that for the very wealthy there will indeed be new and miraculous medical treatments to prolong and enhance life. For the vast majority however, this new technology will only be used to further limit their freedom and privacy while creating a caste system based on genetics that fundamentally changes the way society is structured.
Today a college degree is required in order to apply for many jobs. In the near future a genetic degree proving that an applicant fits the genetic profile an employer wants will be a similar requirement. Unlike a college degree, you’ll have to be born with the right genetic makeup.
Sound far fetched? Only 68 years ago in Nazi Germany, an entire society based on the concept of genetic status was created. Not having DNA technology, Hitler was forced to use eye and hair color as the main basis to determine who was an Aryan and could therefore hold a socially—desirable position. With the required DNA testing that elected officials like New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani have publicly advocated for all children at birth, this kind of genetic—profiling can be computerized and applied to all areas of human life.
An even greater threat to mankind is that this technology will not merely be used passively to document existing genetic makeup but will be used actively and aggressively to create new sub—races of human beings specialized to perform certain tasks. Naturally—created children will find themselves competing against genetically—modified people that are stronger, faster, smarter, less constrained by feelings of empathy and more disease and stress resistant.
Military and police applications are certain to take precedence over civilian ones, as a new super soldier/cop is bred. Armies and police forces of the future will be staffed by people created for their assigned tasks the way ants in nature and farm animals in human society are now specialized.
Corporations have already patented thousands of human, animal and plant genes which are being mixed together and applied for economic advantage, often with no idea of the consequences. As corporations obtain ownership rights over more and more life forms the very idea of human rights and freedom may become a vestige of the past.
Since it would appear that short of a cataclysm sending mankind back into the dark ages this technology is here to stay, what can we do? The first step is to educate ourselves about the threats this technology poses to our survival. We need to be able to interpret the subtle messages behind the feel—good propaganda President Clinton and his corporate pals are feeding us and then vote and express ourselves accordingly.
If it can be regulated based on the universal human values most societies have shared in common this technology might truly enhance human life and culture. If on the other hand we leave it up to corporate and government interests to determine the use, we can be assured of a future in which most people enjoy the same status that a domestic farm animal does today.
In short, corporate and government control of the human genome may precipitate the greatest struggle for survival ever faced by human beings.
U.S. Hopes to Stem Rush Toward Patenting of Genes
Long before scientists had completed the task of reading the
human genome, parts of it had already been claimed for
commerce. In what has often been compared to a land grab,
companies and universities have filed for patents on hundreds
of thousands of genes and gene fragments.
When asked whether all children should have DNA tests at birth, the
Mayor said: the
...I would have no problem with that, or fingerprinting
all children...There is absolutely no reason why people should be
afraid of being identified... It’s not invasive,
It doesn’t invade any right of privacy. You
don’t have a right not to be identified. I don’t remember
a constitutional amendment that gives you the right not to be
identified.—N.Y. Times 12/17/98
Giuliani Backs DNA
Testing of Newborns for Identification
Among hundreds of Rockefeller funded institutes and projects in the
U.S., England and Germany that have been involved in promoting
Eugenics, was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Eugenics
and Human Heredity in Berlin. The head of that institute, Dr. Otmar
Verschuer, was Josef Mengele’s patron, teacher and
co—researcher. Another Rockefeller sponsored doctor and
researcher, Dr. Franz Kallmann, helped save Verschuer after WWII by
testifying favorably about his value to science during the U.S.
government denazification hearings. Dr. Kallmann later created the
American Society of Human Genetics, which organized the .
[Also see: Nazi Germany, Klaus P. Fischer pg. 515]
The eugenics movement started in the early decades of the last
century, and although Hitler’s sterilisation of as much as 1 per
cent of the German population forced many to reconsider, it remained
popular in many states in America...It is believed that 60,000 or more
Americans were sterilised in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
History of American Eugenics
A century ago, scientists from the top universities in America
began to study people’s pedigrees in the hopes of creating
perfect children. Instead, they spawned a monster: the
pseudoscience of eugenics...It’s more than coincidence that
minority groups were most often the target of this plan...The Eugenics
Records Office itself was endowed by a grant from the widow of
railroad magnate E.H. Harriman and such population—control
progressives as Margaret Sanger also believed in the cause....
A Fund Is Planned by U.S. Companies for Nazis’ Victims
A group of American companies that had factories in Nazi Germany
plans to establish a fund that would aid people who suffered
persecution under Hitler’s rule, a gesture that comes as more
American multinational corporations acknowledge having benefited from
slave labor during World War II...At least 50 American companies
operated factories in Germany during the years that the Nazis were in
power...Ford, General Motors, Exxon—Mobil and Kodak are among a
growing number of American multinationals that say they have found
evidence that their subsidiaries used forced labor during those
Chase Banked On Nazis — Report
Chase National Bank—the precursor of today’s Chase
Manhattan Bank—allegedly helped the Nazis plunder Jewish
property in France during World War II, according to a published
report. The New York—based bank controlled by the Rockefeller
family closed Jewish accounts even before the Germans ordered them to
do so and did business with the Nazis while they were sending Jews to
the gas chambers, Newsweek magazine reports in this week’s
edition. And while the U.S. was at war with the Nazis, Chase also
apparently helped German banks do business with their overseas
branches, the magazine reported.
The next bad beef scandal? Cattle feed now contains things like manure and dead cats—
To trim costs, many farmers add a variety of waste substances to
their livestock and poultry feedand no one is making sure they are
doing so safely. Chicken manure in particular is increasingly used as
feed by cattle farmers despite possible health risks to
consumers...Chicken manure often contains campylobacter and salmonella
bacteria, which can cause disease in humans, as well as intestinal
parasites, veterinary drug residues, and toxic heavy metals such as
arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury...In addition, some 40 billion
pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera,
as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs passed
along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into
livestock feed...Researchers in addition have experimented with cattle
and hog manure, and human sewage sludge.
The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, Vol. V, No. 10, page 5:
Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most
adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and
social problems ... As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take
advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance
between the birth rate of the
unfit and the
admittedly the greatest present menace to the human race, can never be
rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between the two
classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the
fertility of the feeble—minded, the mentally defective, the
poverty—stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to
the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the
educated and well—to—do classes. On the contrary, the most
urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over fertility
of the mentally and physically defective ...