Corporate Monopolies

Concentration in corporate power is the defining feature of today's global economy, with profound implications for livelihoods, well-being, the environment and human rights. ETC Group has long monitored the "Gene Giants" (who aggregate control over seeds, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, genomics and food processing and retailing). Today many of the same large corporations are touting the use of new technologies - including genomics, nanotechnology and synthetic biology - to transform biomass into high-value products or to manufacture materials "from the bottom up." They are moving from being - 'gene giants' to 'biomass-ters' or even 'matter moguls.'

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The Big Downturn? Nanogeopolitics, ETC Group’s new 68-page report on global governance of nanoscale technologies, is an update of our 2005 Nanogeopolitics survey. In the intervening five years,  policymakers – some kicking and screaming – have begun to acknowledge that fast-tracking nanotech has come at a price and that some sort of regulation is needed to deal with at least some of the risks nanoscale technologies pose.

Problems, Fascinations and Opportunities: A Preface

Further reflections on EPO's May 3 decision to revoke Monsanto's species-wide soybean patent

ETC Group has been receiving lots of emails and phone calls in the past few days about the defeat of Monsanto's soybean patent one week ago. While most have been congratulatory a few have asked whether this wasn't in fact a hollow victory since the patent challenge was won on technical merits rather than fundamental principles of morality. Will it even affect Monsanto's patent portfolio? One US activist asked:

Civil Society Organizations and the "Third System"