Issue: In the 1980's US court decisions set international precedent for the patenting of human genetical material. As a result, exclusive monopolies over human genetic materials are becoming commonplace in the industrialized world, without discussion of the social, ethical and political implications. Perhaps most disturbing is the degree to which orinary citizens, both North and South, have been marginalized from discussion and debate on the patenting of human genetic material.
Recent Content Related to Biodiversity & Cultural Diversity
Patent-like claims on two coloured cotton varieties raise many questions and concerns about the ownership and control of coloured cotton, and the lack of compensation for indigenous knowledge and germplasm from the South.
RAFI warns that the Human Genome Diversity Project's outrageous proposal to collect human DNA from 722 communities around the world has serious implications for indigenous peoples. Will profits be made from the genes of poor people whose physical survival is in question? Who will have access and what benefits will accrue to indigenous communities?
A backgrounder on rice biotechnology and the public and private efforts to engineer the world's most important food crop.
RAFI takes a look at early R&D in genetic modification of maize, including the financial stakes and major players, goals of transformation, and prospects for commercialization.
In 1987 RAFI first reported on the efforts of two biotech companies to produce natural vanilla flavor in the laboratory. If commercially successful, this technology could displace over 70,000 farmers who grow vanilla beans in Madagascar. Here is RAFI's update four years later.
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.
Authored by Cary Fowler and Pat Mooney, this 270 page book provides an excellent introduction to the history and geopolitics of genetic diversity. Published in 1990.
Also published under: The Threatened Gene: Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity
Description: Authored by Cary Fowler and Pat Mooney, this 270 page book provides an excellent introduction to the history and geopolitics of genetic diversity. Published in 1990.
The use of genetic engineering to make plants tolerant of the damaging effects of herbicides.
Issue: Replacement of major cash crop (Gum Arabic)
Countries affected: Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and others
Impact: Possible loss of $ 60 million in annual export earnings and seasonal employment
New starch-based substitutes for gum arabic and other water soluble gums threaten to replace a major portion of gum exports from several African countries.