It's not an easy thing to meet your maker - Roy Batty. Blade Runner
In 1998, Iceland created the world's first national DNA database of its citizens. Almost all of its 275,000 citizens trace their lineages to the original Nordic Vikings of a prior millennium. In a unique arrangement, Iceland's national genetic code was sold to the genetic research and pharmacogenetic industries through an entity called deCODE Genetics. Less than 8 percent of Iceland's population opted out of the voluntary program, hence deCODE possesses virtually a complete national genetic and hereditary portrait of Iceland. Scientists at deCODE are currently utilizing the information in their study of a range of debilitating condition, including respiratory and muscular disease. Safeguards have been built into the program to conceal individuals' names. But at least one Icelander has sued the government to have her father's genetic history removed. As of March 2003, the case is still winding its way through Icelandic courts. Iceland's national genomic information will be made available to a wide variety of scientific, commercial and governmental entities in an Internet-based system that employs massive data storage drives codenamed "Shark." 31
One main company manages and controls Iceland's genetic data. That company is already positioned to become the worldwide manager and disseminator of all genomic information globally. In anticipation of that day, the company currently operates genomic offices in California, New York, Zurich, Haifa, New Delhi and Tokyo. The name of the company is IBM. Its Iceland project operates under a division known as "Life Services - Nordic." 32
Estonia became the second nation to databank its entire population. In 2001, Estonia created the Estonia Genome Project to capture the genetic profiles of its 1.4 million citizens. A biotechnology industry article cited by the government's website explains, "Unlike remote Iceland, Estonia has long been a European stomping ground, ruled by a succession of Russian, Swedish, German and Danish invaders who left their genetic heritage. Estonia's ethnic mix thus could be a major draw for pharmaceutical companies that want to find disease genes common to most Europeans. 33
The tiny Polynesian nation of Tonga sold the information on its unique gene pool to Autogen, an Australian genetic research firm, in 2000. Tonga's 170 islands host a group of some 108,000 natives isolated for more than three millennia. Autogen was quoted as explaining its interest in Tonga's population: " The less mixture of inter-racial marriage, the more likely you are to be able to determine a particular gene that may be responsible for a particular disease, whether it's breast cancer or whether it's kidney disease."34
After reevaluation the arrangement between Tonga and Autogen was cancelled. Autogen instead focused on a Tasmanian genetic repository. "Tasmania is one of only a few populations in the world where up to seven-generation family pedigrees are available," the company announced. "This makes it an ideal location to study the genetics of complex diseases such as obesity and diabetes."35
In England, the UK Biobank recently opened as a repository for the medical information and genetic data of a half million volunteers. More commercial initiatives are underway to secure national genetic information around the world using ethnic, national racial and even religious parameters. The pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies and research foundations that operate these databanks will interconnect them globally. The devoted men and women laboring on these national projects are joining research hands to create new disease-fighting drugs, unlock the mysteries of hereditary disease and improve the quality of life. In the process, prodigious masses of individual genetic information are being gathered. This data can be exchanged and retrieved at the speed on light from a computer and even downloaded to a cell phone.
War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. By Edwin Black. Pg. 439