Monday, May 19, 2008

Biopiracy + Climate Change

The ETC Group (yes, I report on their reports a lot) just release a couple of significant news releases...
1. The US Patent & Trademark Office (this past April) ruled against the controversial patent on the "Enola" bean. This story is particularly interesting in a number of ways. The bean's nume, at least as it's known in the US, is derived from the (former) patent holder's wife's name. The "Enola" bean is actually a quite common variety of yellow-colored beans (such as the azufrado and mayocoba - the ones that the Enola is derived from) that John Proctor brought back from Mexico and cultivated in the US in the mid 1990s (the patent was issued in 1999). Proctor's patent actually had the effect of preventing these beans - grown for centuries - from being imported into the US, as they were considered in violation of patent law.
The ETC Group is less than celebratory of the decision, however, noting that:
the U.S. patent system allowed the owner of a flagrantly unjust patent to legally monopolize markets and destroy competition - for close to half the 20-year patent term.
2. Biotech companies - like Monsanto, DuPont, BASF, Bayer, Mendel, Ceres, Evogene and Dow - are reportedly stockpiling patents on genetic material related to climate change. They assert that these companies see an opportunity to cash in on the environmental stresses of impending climate change by gaining ownership over advantageous genetic traits. ETC levels a critique of catastrophic climate change scare tactics being used by some government and corporate interests to advance their accumulation of capital, while also pointing out the problems with the utopian rhetoric that biotechnology will save the world from a climate-driven food crisis. The ETC Group's report is available here.

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:31 PM

Comments: Post a Comment



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

Archives

June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008  

syndicate [atom]

preBlog archives

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?