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Biotechnology and food security in developing countries: The case for strengthening international environmental regimes

Author(s): Magdalena Kropiwnicka

Journal: ISYP Journal on Science and World Affairs
ISSN 1574-1311

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Biotechnology | Cartagena Protocol | genetically modified organisms | biotechnological revolution | developing countries | food security

This article discusses and evaluates the potential impact of the modern biotechnological revolution (genetic engineering) on food security in developing countries. It finds that within the present framework, where innovations are driven by profit rather than by need-oriented research and development, the biotechnological revolution can have an adverse effect on small farms and exacerbate social, economic and environmental problems. Given that the current debate on biotechnology entered a period of intensified conflict over questions of ownership and control over biological materials, the role of patenting and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) is specifically highlighted. In conclusion, much emphasis is given to the international attempts at control of biotechnology within the UN system with particular regard to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and their attempts to set guidelines governing trade in genetically modified organisms and to strengthen the concept of ‘farmer’s rights’.
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