Well now, at least they're not genetically engineering crops, but
Cuba's biotech medical plans still trouble me.
Yes, I know the positive arguments for it, how Cuba is breaking the
western pharmaceutical companies' control of medicine in Latin
America and offering these very cheaply or for free to sick people,
but the technology itself is problematic .... and this is one issue
the left should explore more fully.
When I was visiting Cuba in 1992 I had a very big argument about
genetic engineering with local technicians when our group visited the
biotech facility in Havana that had been set up with Japan. They
seemed at that time to never have heard of the safety concerns I
raised -- and the academic leftists I was traveling with didn't seem
too keen on opposing genetic engineering either.
This could be a great discussion at the Radical Philosophy
Association conference in Havana this June, but unfortunately the
U.S. government has clamped down on allowing U.S. citizens to visit
Cuba, and it is nigh impossible for folks who are not full-time
academics doing research to go there with this conference.
I'd be curious to hear feedback from others about the issue of
biotechnology in Cuba.
From: "Walter Lippmann" <[log in to unmask]>
Cuba-India Open New Biotechnology Plant
NEW DELHI, April 17 (PL) Cuba and India have become leaders in
today's biotechnology, said Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on
Tuesday during the opening of a modern institution for the production
of humanized monoclonal h-R3 antibodies.
The official noted the importance of the joint enterprise Biocon
Biopharmaceutical, created to produce and market the product.
Chidambaram also expressed the gratitude of the Indian people and
government for Cuba's assistance to earthquake victims in neighboring
Doctors Agustin Lage, director of the Cuban Center of Molecular
Immunology and Kiran Mazumder, Biocon president, chaired the opening
Lage confirmed that the clinical trials carried out on people
affected by head and neck neoplasias and treated with h-R3 humanized
monoclonal antibody evolve favorably.
Juan Carretero, the Cuban ambassador to India, called it a memorable
day for all those involved in the project and especially for those
like Cuban President Fidel Castro who had the vision to develop