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International Agricultural Law and Policy

A Rights-Based Approach to Food Security

Hope Johnson

Globalised agriculture and food systems are at the crux of significant issues facing humanity from the rise in diet-related diseases to water pollution and biodiversity loss. Yet, legal scholarship on the regulation of agriculture and food is only now emerging. This timely book provides the first systematic analysis of the public international rules influencing agriculture. Each chapter considers the regulatory instruments that intersect with different components of agricultural systems from land tenure and soils through to agricultural in-puts and trade.
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Chapter 6: Seeds

Hope Johnson

Extract

This chapter explores the regulation of genetic resources for agriculture, which are generally contained in seeds. It outlines how food security depends on farmers and researchers having access to a large, evolving pool of plant genetic resources. Hence, a rights-based approach to agricultural regulation would grant priority to the maintenance and expansion of non-exclusive, common pools of plant genetics. This chapter then critically analyses the main international instruments that establish exclusive or non-exclusive rights in seeds, and attempts to preserve common pools of plant genetic materials.

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