22 January 1999. Thanks to Anon.
See related defensive human genome remarks by President Clinton: http://jya.com/bbr012299.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et/99/1/22/ngen22.html Electronic Telgraph, Issue 1337 Friday 22 January 1999 Genetic Science 'Could Be Used For Ethnic Cleansing' By Aisling Irwin, Science Correspondent Rapid advances in genetics will soon transform biological weapons into potent tools of ethnic cleansing and terrorism, according to doctors. The British Medical Association said that weapons that could distinguish between ethnic groups by exploiting tiny genetic or cellular differences between them could be a reality within a decade. Just as breakthroughs in atomic physics earlier this century led rapidly to the nuclear bomb, genetic science was providing researchers with new means of aiming and delivering biological weapons, the association said. Launching a report, Biotechnology Weapons and Humanity, the BMA called for "urgent and intense" efforts to tighten the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, agreed in 1972 to stop the spread of biological and chemical weapons. In reality, such weapons are "poorly regulated and controlled", the BMA argued. The report noted that while biological weapons had been around since the earliest times, they had always had huge disadvantages, in particular the risk of infecting more than just the enemy. But these barriers would soon be overcome because of the knowledge being generated by the Human Genome Project, an international effort to locate every element of the human genetic blueprint by 2003, and by the Human Genetic Diversity Project, in which scientists were recording the genetics of threatened ethnic groups. The report said: "In genetic terms there are more similarities between different people and peoples than there are differences. But the differences exist, and may singly, or in combination, distinguish the members of one social group from another." These markers could be harnessed as triggers so that an agent such as a disease-carrying virus would be harmless to those who did not possess them. The report conceded that such predictions might sound like science fiction and said "genetic warfare is not, in all probability, a practical possibility today". But it noted the growing number of scientists who were issuing warnings that such methods would soon be possible. Terrorist groups could develop biological weapons relatively easily. Their manufacture would require experienced scientists but detailed instructions were available on the Internet. A conference to review the 1972 convention is due in 2001 and the text of a verification protocol is now being negotiated. The Foreign Office said Britain was leading an effort to improve the convention. A disarmament conference in Geneva on Jan 4 began negotiations which aim to compile a set of verification protocols. Britain has offered to host the signing ceremony for the finalised agreement. Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 1999. - - - - - - - - - - - - http://www.gbhap-us.com/abi/med/bma4m.htm The Gordon and Breach Publishing Group MEDICAL AND LIFE SCIENCES NEW AND FORTHCOMING TITLES BIOTECHNOLOGY, WEAPONS AND HUMANITY The British Medical Association, London, UK This report considers whether new biological weapons, made possible by the mapping of the human genome, could be incorporated into the arsenals of states and terrorist organizations. How might the revolution in biotechnology be used to attack the genetic constitution of a national or ethnic group, or enhance the virulence of organizations hostile to human health? Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity traces the historical development of biological weapons and considers the role of health care professionals, scientists, governments, and international agencies in limiting and managing the effects of new biological weapons. In particular, the strengths and weaknesses of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention are examined, and steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of the proliferation of weapons. Readership: Medical professionals; scientists; public policy makers interested in arms regulation and civil defense; undergraduates, graduates and researchers in politics, international relations and the biological sciences; and the general reader. January 1999 176pp Cloth ISBN: 90-5702-459-4 US$39 / £25 / EUR33 Paperback ISBN: 90-5702-460-8 US$22 / £14 / EUR18 Harwood Academic Publisher All prices are tentative and subject to change. Copyright 1999 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V. - - - - - - - - - - - -