BIO-IPR resource pointer IU CG6
Several NGO initiatives to empress public rejection of intellectual property rights on life have hit the streets in the past few days.
RENEGOTIATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNDERTAKING ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE (IU)
The IU embodies an extremely important commitment: to protect the genetic diversity of food crops and keep it available for all. The problem is that the biotech industry wants to access genetic resources freely and then enjoy private intellectual monopoly rights on them, especially in the form of patents. This severely threatens the future of plant breeding worldwide and undercuts the rights and benefits that everyone else should enjoy from the collective safekeeping and development of agbiodiversity.
The countries negotiating this intergovernmental treaty meet next week -- 23-28 April 2001 -- in Spoleto, Italy.
A range of NGOs are trying to stimulate greater public involvement in the discussions, and secure an IPR-free genetic resources system for the sake of food security.
- "Keep Crop Seeds Patent-Free In Order To Maintain World Food Security", Media Release, 20 April 2001.
- "International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Keep Our Seeds Free From Property Rights", international sign-on letter, April 2001.
"Frequently Unasked Questions about the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources", GenoType, 19 April 2001.
"Who will gain control over seeds and foodstuffs?", Fact Sheet on the FAO Conference on Access to Genetic Resources and Preservation of Biodiversity in Spoleto, Italy, 23-28 April, Greenpeace, Hamburg, April 2001.
Copies available from <mailto:email@example.com> or check their websites <http://www.greenpeace.de> (Germany) and <http://www.greenpeace.org> (international)
The UK's Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition actively maintains a webpage on the IU negotiations, with links to the materials above in several languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese), as well as continuous updates and media reports.
TREATY TO PROTECT THE GENETIC COMMONS
A dozen organisations have launched a process to establish the earth's gene pool as a "global commons" to be jointly shared by all peoples. This process takes the form of a treaty that will be presented at the Rio+10 summit in Johannesburg next year. The overall objective is to ensure that no one can have monopoly rights over biological resources. The draft treaty, and a letter from the initiators inviting people to join the process, is available so far in English, French and Spanish. English letter and treaty draft
Spanish and French versions
If you would like to participate in this process, or for further information, please contact:
The Treaty Initiative to Share the Genetic Commons
1660 L Street NW, Suite 216
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (1-202) 466 28 23
Fax: (1-202) 429 96 02
ABOUT THIS LISTSERVER -- BIO-IPR is an irregular listserver put out by
Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN). Its purpose is to circulate
information about recent developments in the field of intellectual property
rights related to biodiversity & associated knowledge. BIO-IPR is a strictly
non-commercial and educational service for nonprofit organisations and
individuals active in the struggle against IPRs on life.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE -- To get on the mailing list, send the word "subscribe"
(no quotes) as the subject of an email message to
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. To get off the list, send the word
"unsubscribe" instead. To submit material to the list, address your message
to <mailto:email@example.com>. A note with further details about BIO-IPR is
sent to all subscribers.
ABOUT GRAIN -- For general information about GRAIN, please visit our website
<http://www.grain.org> or write us at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>.