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Allowing for-profit companies to patent particular genetic manipulations raises many ethical, legal, and policy questions and has generated much critical comment in the United States and Europe. The main areas of concern are: a) negative environmental consequences; b) harm to humans who consume transgenic foods; c) abuse of animals; and d) misuse of human genetic engineering. It is impossible in a short article to do justice to the wide range of issues associated with patenting genetic technology. My approach is to select some of the major concerns, explore the deeper philosophical assumptions that underlie them, and discuss their implications for patenting genetic technology.