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Supreme Court Victory Against Gene Patenting with Genae Girard

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On this Flashback Friday episode, Jason Hartman interviews Genae Girard, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. Patent Office and Myriad Genetics. She had been allowed to patent human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Genae shares what happened, how her case got into court, and how she played a part in it. Jason and Genae discuss the monopoly of companies like Myriad Genetics and Monsanto.

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It’s my pleasure to welcome Genae Gerard to the show Janae was the lead plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case, where there’s a was a unanimous decision, which ruled that the human gene patenting was unconstitutional. I’m very glad to talk about this on the show. And she was featured on 60 minutes on Infowars with Alex Jones. And it’s just great to have her here today. Janae is coming to us from Austin, Texas, a great place. How are you doing?

Genae Girard 2:06
I can’t complain. I really appreciate you having me on your show.

Jason Hartman 2:09
Well, it’s good to have you. You know, I have long been wary of companies like Monsanto and other other big players in the corporatocracy who think that they can patent nature. And I really struggled with us. You know, on the one hand, you think, well, patent law, the fact that you can protect intellectual property, that’s something that creates a lot of research and development where people and companies wouldn’t bother to research these things and think of these ideas and, and, and do this stuff. And that leads to advancement. But on the other hand, it locks up things. And you have these entire businesses that are based around the concept of what’s called patent trolling, where they just look to sue people in companies for patent violations, which are sometimes pretty ridiculous, frankly. So tell us your story and what happened and how this case got into court and how you played a part in it, if you would?

Genae Girard 3:08
Well, basically, the reason that I got involved was, I was diagnosed at 36 with breast cancer. And so at that time, they wanted me to go ahead and take the bracket one and bracket two test, which is exactly what we’re talking about. With Mariette laboratory, they were the only ones that could run the test, because they had a patent on these genes. These are the breast cancer genes. If your bracket one positive, that means you have an eight times higher likelihood of a reoccurrence, if you bracket to positive, even eight times higher likelihood of not only getting a breast cancer reoccurrence, but also ovarian cancer. So being so young, they were very, very concerned because a lot of times when you’re young, it can be more aggressive because it’s it’s estrogen fed a lot of these cancers. So I wanted to and I was encouraged to take the test to see what my odds were if they were higher than your average bear, if you will. And if that was the case, then I could make some decisions based on that. There were pretty radical really. So my father being a physician and a radiologist, I had a second opinion along the way with everything. My biopsies, my you know, my testing my lab testing, and so I wanted a second opinion because I came back bracket to positive with Marian. Well, they indicated that I couldn’t get a second test run, nor would my insurance pay for it. Well, if I have to make the decision to get a double mastectomy and my ovaries out and not, you know, that’s the finalization of not having children, especially being young and I didn’t have any children. Nor do I now. I mean, that was a really big deal. And I couldn’t fathom that one, only one company could run it. So we, you know, kind of dug into it and found out that other companies actually have the technology To run it, but because Marriott had the patent, they could slap a cease and desist order for anybody else that tried to run the test.

Jason Hartman 5:11
So what does this test do then? And how, I mean, explain their patent a little bit more. And I want to ask you actually, to take the side of the company and just indulge that for just a moment, like, what did they do to deserve this patent? Did they? Did they spend half a billion dollars researching something that led to this test that wasn’t there before?

Genae Girard 5:37
No. And that’s a really good question. You know, I’m an entrepreneur and have been all my life. If this patent was on the technology, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. The original testing came from the University of Utah. And then the scientists from the University of Utah got together with a private corporation that had discovered the genes and then they applied for the patent. And our US government allowed it

Jason Hartman 6:00
Hmm. So another’s, I mean, patenting the genome. And in in general, I guess, companies just had to spend a bunch of money, figuring out and mapping the genome, right. And so certain companies just took parts of it and other companies took other parts, and then they all applied for their various battens is that what happened?

Genae Girard 6:20
I don’t know how many other companies applied for patents, to be honest with you. But I know that there were when the court case started, there were 20 other genes in a queue to be to be patented. And these revolved around things like hearing loss research, you know, eyesight, issues, MS, all sorts of things. And so many companies were trying to patent just like myriad. And it’s a really big problem, because it’s unconstitutional to patent anything that exists in nature. Well, why isn’t our DNA part of nature? It’s it’s really hard to fathom. Well,

Jason Hartman 6:58
yeah, I completely agree. abudu, who says it’s unconstitutional, just the recent Supreme Court decision? Because you look at a company like Monsanto, and I think what they’re doing, in some cases, just pure evil, the fact that they’re attacking these small farmers, and I don’t know, it’s just hard for me to understand as a capitalist, you know, like you. I am a total believer in capitalism. Okay. I think it’s the greatest thing ever. It’s a, it’s created more human Liberty than any other system easily. But this really isn’t capitalism. This is cronyism. It really is like, Yeah, but but you know, who says it’s unconstitutional to patent nature? Just Is that something that you’re saying? Is it something that came out of this case with the Supreme Court struck down their patent? Right?

Genae Girard 7:46
Yeah, I mean, it’s in the Constitution. And it’s in our laws. So I’m not sure exactly how they got away with it. But they basically took a gene sequence, you know, one of the judges made a really good point, he said, just because you extract a leaf from a tree, doesn’t mean that you can patent that. And so that’s really what he was saying is just because you extract DNA, or a genome, you know, subset, it’s still nature. So you mean, he simplified it, but it made pure sense to me. And, you know, this was not an easy, this was not an easy sell to the public, because people didn’t understand what the case was about, they couldn’t understand that a company was allowed to patent a part of the body. And then myself in in for other plaintiffs, there were five total, when we would talk about it, and like you said, Go in 60 minutes, etc, people were just dumbfounded that that could even happen. So when we would talk about it and go in the public and the public guy, it was a really difficult thing to, for people to understand. So however, we did have what’s called Friends of the of the court, we had about 150, various entities, including the American Medical Association, some really big folks that got behind this case. And that was, that was a big deal, too, because they, they wrote about it in their publications and try to get the word out. And but you know, this really isn’t just about breast cancer. I mean, this really impacts all areas of medicine in research. So isn’t it scary to think that one company myriad, has banked all of our breast cancer braca one and braca, two data, either there could be certain genetic components that we don’t know about, there could be certain areas in the country that are more prone to it because of contaminated water. I mean, they have all of the data, and they’re not required to give it up.

Jason Hartman 9:49
Wow. Yeah, that’s, that seems like it should just be something in the public domain. So how did you how did this case happen? I mean, you wanted to get this test just to kind of take us through the kernel. of what happened real quickly, you wanted to get this test. You were told your insurance wouldn’t pay for it, it costs 30 $600. And you just intuitively knew it should cost less, right?

Genae Girard 10:11
Yes, yeah. I’ve been in the medical industry and veterinary industry pretty much that was my company. And, you know, I know, I know what lab does cost. And I, I know everything about it. But I have the test run the first time. So my insurance said yes. And that was fine. But then that second one where I wanted a second opinion, because hey, I was gonna have to have these drastic measures. It, you know, they wouldn’t do it. In my insurance when covered. Some of the other plaintiffs in the case, like each of us had a different role.

Jason Hartman 10:46
Yeah, we just a moment before you talk about that. So what happened next? What did you do? You went and you saw a lawyer?

Genae Girard 10:52
No, actually, the ACLU has a woman’s right project. And somebody that I know, that was actually they requested her to come in and do an interview to be a possible plaintiff. And she mentioned me because I was one of the people that had a different experience. And so because, you know, look like everybody’s sister or mom or whatever, you know, I look average. Plus, I am a decent speaker, they thought I would be or play a pretty good role, and trying to get the message across. And so they interviewed me and, and so that’s how that occurred. It was through the ACLU. Okay,

Jason Hartman 11:34
so in the ACLU took the case. And where did it go? It went to a local court, probably in Texas, and then up to a federal court, and then to the Supreme Court. What What was that series of events,

Genae Girard 11:46
it went from a state court in New York to the federal court, the Supreme Court, Supreme Court rejected it went back to the federal court, Federal Court ruled against, and then it went back up to the Supreme Court. It was just like, it is been just terrible. I mean, it’s been three years of my life. It’s amazing. our court system, you know, it’s,

Jason Hartman 12:07
it’s pretty bad. It’s a mess. But when when when did the Supreme Court ruling happen in your favor? It was two months ago, two months ago. Okay. And so the outcome of that is what it means that they don’t they don’t hold the patent anymore. Right. The patent was rendered invalid. Is that what’s happened?

Genae Girard 12:27
That’s correct. And it was also found that that other companies cannot patent genes. They can’t, you know, they can’t patent genetic portions within our DNA.

Jason Hartman 12:37
I mean, that’s a massive change the I mean, this your case, when I know, it’s not just you, there are many other plaintiffs, of course, but this case, probably had a huge impact on the stock market, I would assume, on these biotech companies and their stock values. Right?

Genae Girard 12:57
You would think so. And you would think that people would vote them out, so to speak, but it didn’t have as big as an impact as I thought it would in the stock market, believe it or not, you would think so.

Jason Hartman 13:10
I mean, that had to just change business plans of all these, these biotech companies that were probably hindering on the value of these patents, right?

Genae Girard 13:20
Well, yes. I mean, a lot of them had to switch gears and put their focus, you know, in other areas of research,

Jason Hartman 13:26
yeah. On on more legitimate things, right. So Unbelievable. Unbelievable. What else would you like people to know about this?

Genae Girard 13:36
Well, you know, really, that it really impacts I mean, it was a landmark case, in my opinion, it impacts research, I believe that it’s going to further research in medicine, by opening up the door, and not having these monopolies where they gouge patients and insurance companies. I’m hoping that those days are over, at least in the world of you know, DNA testing, I think it should be wildly widely available so that patients can make decisions based on what what their best interest is just in the breast cancer world alone, over 120,000 women are diagnosed each year. And that’s huge. And so to have this monopoly, you know, I knew a number of women that were in queues in their counties and respective cities that couldn’t afford it. And they were waiting to try to get on a waiting list to get the test. Well, you can’t wait when you have cancer. I mean, you’ve got a got to jump on it. You’ve got to make decisions. You’ve got to educate yourself the best you can. And it really is going to impact a number of areas of medicine. I mean, we’ve already seen it start to happen.

Jason Hartman 14:50
That’s the old thing about socialized medicine is that they just let people die waiting in line. Because the treatments are there every they’re there. They’re doled out so slowly. You know, that’s been the thing everybody’s talked about about the British system for so many years. But that’s something else. That’s really something else. Are there any other areas? I mean, I’m sure as you were occupied with this case, and congratulations to you and to really to all of us. So thank you for fighting the good fight. But are there any other areas where this is prevalent? I think the Monsanto examples a good one with these hybrid seeds that they’ve got that, you know, is also patenting nature. And, and what this is, for people who don’t know is, as I understand it, is these seeds that don’t regenerate on purpose, they’re designed that way, so that you have to buy them next time around for Monsanto again. And there have been cases where these babies have blown into other fields of a neighboring farm. And Monsanto has sued this poor little farmer out of business, you know, they just can’t, they can’t, they can’t fight the fight. They can’t, you know, they don’t have a legal team. And it’s just unbelievable, you know, but are there other areas where there’s these, these abusive patent practices like this,

Genae Girard 16:08
mainly, the ones that I’m familiar with, were the ones that were in the queue, you know, that revolved around research and development and drugs, for different, you know, different disease, in different things like that. Those are the ones that I’m aware of that were basically stopped from being able to patent other types of genes. And it’s, you know, it’s hugely, hugely important because, you know, to retard research and to have a monopoly. It’s just, it’s ridiculous. There’s so many pharmaceutical companies even now, I mean, that have that have exclusive development. And, you know, some of the drugs aren’t going generic, they block them. For example, there was one company, the purple pill, as everybody knows, well, Pfizer. There’s a company that came out with a generic purple pill. Well, they, you know, Pfizer fought it because they were having like $100 million in sales a day. Well, that to cost you know, the cost of a lawyer to go out and in block this company just because of the purple. They said it was trademarked because the color, you know, that custom thing.

Jason Hartman 17:18
So you mean, it didn’t do the same thing that viagra did. It was just a

Genae Girard 17:22
No. Purple pill is, is Prilosec. It’s for

Jason Hartman 17:26
Oh, I thought that was. Well, viagara is blue, right? Okay. Yeah. blue pill. Okay, sorry, I got the wrong one. Yeah. I mean, the most famous drug in the world is definitely got to be Viagra. You know, it’s like the butt of every other joke, right. But so was it just the naming that you’re talking about? Or was it it was what?

Genae Girard 17:44
The color. The generic came out in purple.

Jason Hartman 17:47
Yeah, but what did the generic do the same thing as processor? Okay, it did.

Genae Girard 17:52
But what I’m saying is Pfizer could pay some lawyers at a few 1000 bucks to block it for a while. And why wouldn’t they? Because they make 100. You know, million dollars a day. Right. But we know that that seems like kind of a different issue. I

Jason Hartman 18:07
mean, tell me if I’m wrong, but I mean, I think it’s okay, that pharmaceutical companies can patent drugs, because someone’s got to be willing to do the research, and they’re never going to get the funding to do the research, you know, unless they can protect it for a certain amount of time and, and get a head start. I mean, that’s what the that’s what the original whole concept of patent law was. And it seemed legit, in its essence, I

Genae Girard 18:32
believe, I believe it’s, I believe the limits 22 years and I agree with you, however, what I’m saying is, I’m trying to to, you know, tell you the power that these pharmaceutical and research companies have, you know, in the market, the generic came out legally, but they blocked it because it was purple.

Jason Hartman 18:49
Oh, okay. Okay. That’s what you’re saying. That’s a good, good distinction. Okay. I get it.

Genae Girard 18:53
Yeah, it’s just they have a lot of power. They have a lot. They have a lot of power. miriah, for example, was doing 100 test today, of the braca. One and bracket two, at 30 $600 per day.

Jason Hartman 19:05
Do you ever think as I’m beginning to think that some of these illnesses are almost intentionally created because they’re such big business? I mean, I hear commercials constantly for cancer centers on just regular am radio, what? Is this really the way you know what our medical treatments devolved into? You know?

Genae Girard 19:29
Well, I have to tell you, well, I have 36,000 followers around the country, and I hear horror stories all the time, of mistakes and problems that are occurring in our medical industry. I mean, it’s it’s pretty scary. It really is. You really have to be your own advocate, and protect yourself through doing research and educating yourself. It’s really the only way

Jason Hartman 19:54
Yeah, no, I completely agree. Completely agree.

Genae Girard 19:57
But what I wanted to tell you is well What is it one in two people in our country now get cancer, which is ridiculous. But

Jason Hartman 20:03
it’s absurd. I mean, it’s got to be, you know, you just got to wonder if, if the food manufacturers are in cahoots with the cure providers in any field, not just cancer, but in you know, in heart disease and everything. I mean, look at all the junk that’s in our food. And why is why is everybody getting sick? This is crazy. I mean, it should be the opposite. We’re in this modern world that people should be living better.

Genae Girard 20:34
This is scary too. The biggest import of illegal drugs is oncology drugs

Jason Hartman 20:39
Really? From, or is that from Canada?

Genae Girard 20:42
No, they come in from Miami. Oh, at the Port of Miami and what what companies will do in Latin America, they will take a vial of an oncology drug because you know, they’re they can be 12 $100 for a little you know, 30 ml vial. What they do is they they put in sodium chloride, they cut the drug by half put in put in setting chloride put a hologram on him. that matches the lot number and the hologram of the manufacturer. And they send them in through the port. So that that is the highest illegally traffic good. Way over cocaine way over marijuana, anything like that? Because it’s more liquid IV.

Jason Hartman 21:21
Unbelievable. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can’t sell a vial of marijuana for 12 $100. Right? Right. That’s unbelievable. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy, crazy. Crazy.

Genae Girard 21:33
I am.

Jason Hartman 21:33
Yeah. Well give out your website Janae. And tell people where they can find her. Maybe you’ve got a Twitter handle as well.

Genae Girard 21:39
Yeah, they can go to it’s beyond the booby trap, B, bi E, trap beyond the baby trap.com. That is basically also where my book is sold. It’s called off the rack, chronicles of the 30 somethings single breast cancer survivor, and it’s on Amazon as well in on Barnes and Noble. And you can pretty much find it everywhere. But we have a really strong community they can find on that website. And you know, there’s a lot of great postings and writings on that site that they can go to, they can also contact us through that site too.

Jason Hartman 22:14
Fantastic. Well, Janae, keep up the good work and keep getting the word out there about this. It’s a it’s a great thing. And it’s just great to see that the Supreme Court ruled in your favor. And that helped a lot of people.

Genae Girard 22:27
Well, thanks, Jason, I really appreciate you having me on here so that we can talk about this and get, you know, just get other people knowing about what’s going on and you know, educated about what’s going on because we get lost in our daily lives. And sometimes we never hear about things like this.

Jason Hartman 22:43
It’s very important stuff. Thanks for joining us today.

Genae Girard 22:45
Thank you.

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