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2000: Free Access to Genomic Information

Photo of President Clinton with Francis Collins In March 2000, U.S. President Clinton and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that raw, fundamental data about human genome sequence and its variations should be freely available.

The President and Prime Minister Blair issued a Joint Statement in an effort to ensure that the public derives the maximum possible benefit from the sequence of the human genome. They agreed that the best course of action would be to urge the following: First, that raw fundamental sequence data - the letters that make up the book of human life - be distributed as widely as possible without barriers to its use. And, second, that private investment in gene-based technologies be encouraged, so this fundamental knowledge can be turned into useful medical products as quickly as possible. The statement did not represent a change in policy, but was a recognition that this is a rapidly expanding field, involving not only the U.S. and the U.K., but many other nations and many innovative private companies.

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Last updated: July 25, 2013