ETC Resources

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Articles

Open Letter to Ecover / Method

re: decision to use ingredients derived from Synthetically Modified Organisms
02 June 2014
 
Philip Malmberg, CEO
Ecover 
Industrieweg 3
Malle, 2390 Belgium
 
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder
Method Home
637 Commercial Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 9411
USA
 
Dear Philip Malmberg and Adam Lowry,
 
RE: Ecover and Method’s decision to use ingredients derived from Synthetically Modified Organisms (SMOs) in its products
 

Briefings

Case Study: Saffron and Synthetic Biology

Ingredients, Flavours, Fragrances and Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology could impact the $22 billion global flavour and fragrance market and the livelihoods of producers of natural commodities. The world's largest producers of food ingredients, flavors and fragrances are all now partnering with Synthetic Biology companies to develop biosynthetic versions of key high value natural commodities such as saffron, vanilla, vetiver and patchouli - replacing botanical sources. These in turn are just a few our of hundreds of economically important natural plant compounds whose production may be switched to synthetic biology production in a very short time frame.

Case Study: Artemisinin and Synthetic Biology

Plant-Derived Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Synthetic Biology

This case study illustrates developments in synthetic biology that could be disrupting the livelihoods of thousands of small farmers who cultivate Artemisia for the plant’s anti-malarial compounds. These developments impact the sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the genetic resources that produce natural plant products.  If biosynthesis of artemisinin can be successfully scaled up, the pharmaceutical industry will source future supplies of artemisinin from a handful of microbial cell factories instead of farmers in Asia and Africa

Case Study: Rubber and Synthetic Biology

Rubber and Synthetic Biology: A New and Emerging Issue for CBD

This case study illustrates recent developments in synthetic biology that could impact the $35 billion natural rubber market and disrupt the livelihoods of producers. These developments impact the sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the genetic resources associated with rubber production. Natural rubber has already lost half of its market to petroleum-based synthetics. If production challenges are resolved, production via synthetic biology could erode the remaining half. Using synthetic biology, three different commercial teams are working to produce a biosynthetic isoprene that could soon impact Asia’s exporters; other companies are producing biosynthetic butadiene and isobutene, also crucial to the manufacture of rubber.