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From the pergonal project to Kadimastem : a genealogy of Israel’s reproductive-industrial complex

Sigrid Vertommen (2017) BIOSOCIETIES. 12(2). p.282-306
abstract
In the Israeli ‘start-up nation’ biotechnology has emerged as one of the most thriving knowledge-intensive industries. Particularly the med-tech and repro-tech sector are widely regarded as world class in their ability to develop experimental therapies and medicines based on topnotch ‘pioneering’ biomedical research. These developments have rightly been attributed to the neoliberal turn of the late seventies when Israel started to position itself as significant player in the global health and research market. By exploring the (dis)continuities between Pergonal, a fertility drug developed in the late 1950s by the Israeli scientist Bruno Lunenfeld and the Swiss-Italian pharmaceutical company Serono, and the experimental stem cell therapies that are currently being developed by the Israeli biotech company Kadimastem, this article argues, however, that a much older, but still ongoing history of Zionist settler colonial warfare in Palestine/Israel also lies behind the emergence of Israel’s flourishing reproductive-embryonic industry. A Zionist demographic logic that aims to consolidate a Jewish majority in a Jewish state has created fertile conditions for the emergence of a reproductive-industrial complex in which the interests of a pronatalist Jewish state and a biomedical establishment – consisting of academic entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, biotech companies and pharmaceutical giants – have coalesced. The bodies of Israeli women play a pivotal role in this process, not only as reproducers of the settler nation but also as providers of the raw biological materials that are needed to produce experimental research results and to generate surplus bio-value.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
reproductive-industrial complex, Palestine/Israel, bio-capitalism, zionism, demography, settler colonialism
journal title
BIOSOCIETIES
volume
12
issue
2
pages
282 - 306
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000410896500005
ISSN
1745-8552
DOI
10.1057/biosoc.2015.44
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
7045415
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7045415
date created
2016-01-20 14:49:32
date last changed
2017-10-20 07:13:56
@article{7045415,
  abstract     = {In the Israeli {\textquoteleft}start-up nation{\textquoteright} biotechnology has emerged as one of the most thriving knowledge-intensive industries. Particularly the med-tech and repro-tech sector are widely regarded as world class in their ability to develop experimental therapies and medicines based on topnotch {\textquoteleft}pioneering{\textquoteright} biomedical research. These developments have rightly been attributed to the neoliberal turn of the late seventies when Israel started to position itself as significant player in the global health
and research market. By exploring the (dis)continuities between Pergonal, a fertility drug developed in the late 1950s by the Israeli scientist Bruno Lunenfeld and the Swiss-Italian pharmaceutical company Serono, and the experimental stem cell therapies that are currently being developed by the Israeli biotech company Kadimastem, this article argues, however, that a much older, but still ongoing history of Zionist settler colonial warfare in Palestine/Israel also lies behind the emergence of Israel{\textquoteright}s flourishing reproductive-embryonic industry. A Zionist demographic logic that aims to consolidate
a Jewish majority in a Jewish state has created fertile conditions for the emergence of a reproductive-industrial complex in which the interests of a pronatalist Jewish state and a biomedical establishment -- consisting of academic entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, biotech companies and pharmaceutical giants -- have coalesced. The bodies of Israeli women play a pivotal role in this process, not only as reproducers of the settler nation but also as providers of the raw biological materials that are needed to produce experimental research results and to generate surplus bio-value.},
  author       = {Vertommen, Sigrid},
  issn         = {1745-8552},
  journal      = {BIOSOCIETIES},
  keyword      = {reproductive-industrial complex,Palestine/Israel,bio-capitalism,zionism,demography,settler colonialism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {282--306},
  title        = {From the pergonal project to Kadimastem : a genealogy of Israel{\textquoteright}s reproductive-industrial complex},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/biosoc.2015.44},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
Vertommen, Sigrid. 2017. “From the Pergonal Project to Kadimastem : a Genealogy of Israel’s Reproductive-industrial Complex.” Biosocieties 12 (2): 282–306.
APA
Vertommen, S. (2017). From the pergonal project to Kadimastem : a genealogy of Israel’s reproductive-industrial complex. BIOSOCIETIES, 12(2), 282–306.
Vancouver
1.
Vertommen S. From the pergonal project to Kadimastem : a genealogy of Israel’s reproductive-industrial complex. BIOSOCIETIES. 2017;12(2):282–306.
MLA
Vertommen, Sigrid. “From the Pergonal Project to Kadimastem : a Genealogy of Israel’s Reproductive-industrial Complex.” BIOSOCIETIES 12.2 (2017): 282–306. Print.