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The Quest for Alternative Rubber Sources; Guayule - An Alternative Source of Natural Rubber for the United States

Sunday 30th June 1991

 Will bio-synthesis of natural rubber and the development of rubber-producing substitutes such as guayule adversely affect millions of small-scale rubber producers in Asia, Africa and Latin America?

RAFI surveys current biotech R&D on natural rubber substitutes.

Tuesday 30th October 1990

Field trials and commercial sale of Bovine Growth Horm0ne in the developing world.

Thursday 1st February 1990

Scientists are transforming common plant oils (such as soybean) into castor oil equivalents using enzymes or microbes.

The Particle Gun, RFLP Tech; and New Hybrid Crops

Saturday 30th December 1989

Three Developments in Plant Biotechnology: The Particle Gun, RFLP Tech; and New Hybrid Crops and the companies that control them.

Wednesday 1st November 1989

Mergers, acquisitions and business failures in the biotech industry.

Sunday 30th July 1989

The application of biotechnologies to coffee.

Friday 30th June 1989

Vanilla and Biotechnology (Originally published in 1987-updated June 19, 1989): Natural vanilla production via cell culture technology.

Thursday 1st June 1989

Farmers’ Rights: The Informal Innovation System at GATT (TRIPS) and Intellectual Property Negotiations in the Context of New Biotechnologies

Thursday 30th March 1989

Modern biotechnology places premiums on South's medicinal plants for the development of new drugs.

Tuesday 28th February 1989

Pyrethrum flowers (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium), source of pyrethrins used as natural insecticide.



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An inquiry into potential for plant piracy through international intellectual propery Conventions A report by RAFI, in partnership with Heritage Seed Curators Australia (HSCA)

Wednesday 26th August 1998

RAFI's in-depth report on plant piracy, prepared in partnership with Heritage Seed Curators Australia, concludes that intellectual property regimes for plant varieties are inherently predatory upon the knowledge of indigenous peoples and farming communities.


Monday 3rd August 1998

Civil Society Organizations and the "Third System"

Governments at FAO's Gene Commission fail to make the grade on Farmers' Rights and Benefit Sharing

Wednesday 1st July 1998

Negotiations for a new International Undertaking took place on two fronts. The Commission Chair took a small regionally-representative group aside to discuss access and benefit-sharing in the Lebanon room while the Vice-Chair took on Farmers' Rights with the remainder of the delegation in the Green room. Both negotiating processes broke down when the North found itself without running room and the South presented "bottom line" positions in both arenas. Here's an overview of the dividing issues, what happened, and where diplomats can go from here.

The 'Silent Spring' of Farmers' Rights - Seed Saving, the Public Sector, and Terminator Transnationals

Tuesday 30th June 1998

The only thing that can keep pace with the rate of agricultural biotechnological change these days is the speed with which the transnatinoal Life Industry is eating itself. in the last couple of years, Monsanto has  spent more than $6.7 billion buying seed and other ag biotech companies. Now, American Home Products is merging with Monsanto for another $33 billion. Other massive mergers are inevitable within the next few months. That transnational agri-business wants to stop farmers from saving seeds and conducting their own plant breeding is hardly news.

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