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Country artist Naomi Judd, 55, recently spoke at a large biotechnology conference in California. Judd who suffers from Hepatitis C credits the drug interferon with permitting her to control her disease while maintaining a fulfilling life.
According to Judd, this biotechnologically produced drug has put her disease into remission and allowed her to live in good health for the last several years. Interferon is produced from a naturally occurring infection-fighting substance in the human body.
The singer also addressed the controversial issue of public acceptance that surrounds this industry. She urged the companies to gain acceptance by telling "human stories reflecting scientific breakthroughs."
Those who oppose biotechnology claim that manipulating the genetic make-up of plants, animals, and humans may cause serious damage to the environment.
Judd, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1990, said that the major objective should be to show people that the industry is working for the public good and how it can help so many people afflicted with various diseases.
Said Judd, "I feel like I am a designated hitter. The reason I got Hepatitis C is that they needed a face, a story, a voice."