Intellectual Property, Agriculture and Global Food Security

Intellectual Property, Agriculture and Global Food Security

The Privatization of Crop Diversity

Claudio Chiarolla

This well-researched book focuses on international governance of crop diversity and agricultural innovation. It highlights the implications that the future control of food, including access to agricultural resources and technologies, might have for global food security.

Chapter 6: Conclusions

Claudio Chiarolla

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law


This book sets out to test the proposition that global institutional reforms governing the present and future allocation of wealth from crop diversity are insufficient—and in some respects inappropriate—to achieve international equity in terms of the way plant genetic resources are transferred, how agricultural research is conducted, and its benefits are shared, the key reason for this being that such reforms disregard the important role of informal or farmers’ seed systems. In order to test the above proposition, this book has articulated three specific objectives, which focus on: the institutional limitations and systemic weaknesses of agricultural innovation systems in the context of the increasing commodification of crop diversity; the developmental implications of changes in the legal status of resources and knowledge that arise from such commodification; and the available options for improving the applicable legal framework with a view to making the law a real instrument to promote equity, development and sustainability in agriculture. 6.1 CROP DIVERSITY COMMODIFICATION: LIMITATIONS AND SYSTEMIC WEAKNESSES OF GLOBAL INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS In the field of agriculture, the TRIPs Agreement leaves a remarkable degree of freedom for adjusting plant-related intellectual property legislation to domestic needs and promoting local innovation. However, the room for manoeuvre for developing countries may be quite narrow in practice. A growing number of developing countries has executed free trade and investment treaties with the US, the EU and other industrialized countries. In these treaties, they have agreed inter alia to provide patent protection for biotechnological...

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