THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
JOINT STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR OF THE U.K.
In the last decade of the twentieth century, scientists from around the world initiated one of the most significant scientific projects of all time: to determine the DNA sequence of the entire human genome, the human genetic blueprint. Progressing ahead of schedule, human genome research is rapidly advancing our understanding of the causes of human disease and will serve as the foundation for development of a new generation of effective treatments, preventions, and cures.
To realize the full promise of this research, raw fundamental data on the human genome, including the human DNA sequence and its variations, should be made freely available to scientists everywhere. Unencumbered access to this information will promote discoveries that will reduce the burden of disease, improve health around the world, and enhance the quality of life for all humankind. Intellectual property protection for gene-based inventions will also play an important role in stimulating the development of important new health care products.
We applaud the decision by scientists working on the Human Genome Project to release raw fundamental information about the human DNA sequence and its variants rapidly into the public domain, and we commend other scientists around the world to adopt this policy.