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31 Med. & L. 283 (2012)
The Law of Genomic Sovereignty and the Protection of Mexican Genetic Patrimony

handle is hein.journals/mlv31 and id is 297 raw text is: 

Med Law (2012) 31:283-294                                 Medicine
                                                            and Law
                                                         OPROBOOK 2012

THE LAW OF GENOMIC SOVEREIGNTY AND
THE PROTECTION OF MEXICAN GENETIC
PATRIMONY

Ernesto Schwartz-Marin* and Alberto Arellano M6ndez'

       Abstract: We present a socio-legal analysis of the policy agenda
       known as genomic sovereignty in Mexico -in which the notion was
       first coined- and its translation into a national law of health aimed
       at regulating population genomics research in the country. Based
       in more than 2 years of participant observation we sustain that the
       notion of genomic sovereignty, aimed at protecting the unique
       genetic patterns of populations needs to be critically reassessed. The
       main problem with such notion is that there are no scientifically sound
       ways to delimit the genetic uniqueness of any population in the
       world. Arising from this dilemma it becomes increasingly clear that
       the patrimonial doctrines that have been used to regulate population
       genomics in Mexico are inoperative, and rather than creating a legal
       environment in which medical genomics can become a national public
       good, it has created a law that has been used to monopolise human
       genomic research in the country; making blood samples and data tool
       for dispute amongst scientific elites.

       Keywords: Genomic Sovereignty; Mexico; Global South; Patrimonial
       Doctrines; Genetic Uniqueness; Genomic Medicine; Ethnography &
       Populations.


INTRODUCTION

Lately, ideas of genetic uniqueness have firmly entered in the legal mechanisms
to protect vulnerable human communities or the endangered human genetic
patrimony of developing countries or the global south. These policy
and scientific agendas have been organised under the umbrella of genomic
sovereignty, which was a notion produced in Mexican policy circuits in
order to protect the unique genetic heritage of Mexico-according to its

   University of Manchester, Research Associate, School of Social Anthropology-School of
   Social Science, UK. emesto.schwartzmarin@amanchester.ac.uk
   Legal specialist in Genomics and Law, Legal advisor to the Instituto Federal para el
   Acceso a la Informaci6n, M6xico (IFAI).armeal lex23(ahotmail.com


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