Issue: For five years now, public concern about genetic engineering has been riveted on GM crops and foods. But, advances in mapping the human genome have spawned new pharmaceutical industry opportunities. While the prospects for human cloning and stem cell therapies grab the headlines and divert our attention, the companies are pursuing more strategic agendas. Although the majority oppose reproductive cloning, public and policy opinion is 'soft.' Industry's latest and most lucrative market - Human Performance Enhancement drugs - 'HyPEs' - are not even on the policy agenda.
Concentration in Corporate Power: The Unmentioned Agenda
Issue: Concentration in corporate power is the defining feature of today’s (2001) global economy. The “life sciences” industry is converging into new corporate structures that have profound implications for every aspect of commercial food, agriculture, and health.
CDMT - Can Dinosaurs Make Teammates?
RAFI offers a detailed, critical analysis of re-structuring options for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and advice for farmer-led food security. Is CGIAR prepared to make major structural and governance changes in order to salvage public sector agricultural science?
In Search of Common Ground
Negotiations on the revised International Undertaking at FAO will profoundly affect the world's ability to respond to climate change. Failure will lead to a rapid reduction in the exchange of plant breeding stocks between countries and institutions. Agricultural research will be severely damaged. RAFI looks at the major issues and controversies under discussion in the final rounds of negotiations.
RAFI's Annual Update on Terminator and Traitor
Terminator patent portfolios are changing hands because the Gene Giants are consolidating, spinning off, and selling agbiotech interests. New patents describing genetically modified plants with weakened immune systems that depend on the application of a chemical to regain their natural defenses against pests and disease are the most troubling examples of Traitor technology to date.
What's in the GM pipeline? How will it work? Who will control it? What does it mean for farmers, consumers and policymakers?
Biotech's 3rd Generation refers to products that will offer perceived health, nutrition or lifestyle benefits for consumers. The lure of a technologically-integrated $15 trillion system will attract whole new corporate configurations. The Gene Giants may slip down the food chain when the food & beverage industry or the grocery retailers buy into Generation 3.
Declaration of Athens is DOA at Georgia's International Congress of Ethnobiology. Ten Points on Piracy are offered toward a more constructive discourse.
At Georgia's International Congress of Ethnobiology a proposal for a "Declaration of Athens" to set the standard for best practices and for intellectual property protection related to indigenous knowledge was pronounced 'Dead on Arrival' by indigenous leaders invited to the symposium. Ten Points on Piracy are offered toward a more constructive discourse.
A Case Study in the Public Sector's Mismanagement of Intellectual Property
In May 2000 millions of dollars and 10 years worth of publicly funded research on Golden Rice was "donated" to multinational Gene Giant, AstraZeneca (now Syngenta). The takeover of Golden Rice by AstraZeneca is a case study in the public sector's failure to address and understand patent issues.
Captain Hook, the Cattle Rustlers, and the Plant Privateers: Biopiracy of Marine, Plant, and Livestock Continues
Biopiracies are on the increase and governments are doing nothing useful about it. These cases demonstrate the power of exclusive monopoly patents to disrupt and distort domestic and international markets for Southern farmers, and to appropriate the innovative genius of indigenous peoples and rural societies.
Human Genetic Diversity Enters the Commercial Mainstream
With computer-assisted DNA sequencing machines running faster and more cheaply, researchers are now entering Phase II of human genome research. Companies are patenting and privatizing the commercially-important bits of variation found in individuals, indigenous peoples, disease and disability groups, and ethnically-distinct communities.