Thursday, April 15, 2004

Paul Gepts, "Who Owns Biodiversity, and How Should the Owners Be Compensated?" Plant Physiology 134 (April 2004) 1295-1307 fails to answer its own question, but provides an excellent state of the question.
A highly unfortunate side effect of the commoditization of biodiversity is that it has led to the active pursuit of IP protection in developed country of specific crop germ plasm originating in developing countries without appropriate authorization or compensation (called by some 'biopiracy'). Controversial awards of patents involving foreign genetic resources, whether or not these patents have since been rescinded, include yellow and popping beans (P. vulgaris), the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) oil, maca (Lepidium meyenii), and basmati rice (O. sativa).

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