Privatizing our 'genetic commons'


SOURCE: Toronto Star, Canada
AUTHOR: Stephen Scharper
DATE: 17.03.2007

Stephen Scharper, whose column appears every other Saturday, teaches
environmental ethics at the University of Toronto. Email him at

Can humans be patented?

Well, apparently, their cell lines can. At least that's what one U.S
agency thought.

On March 14, 1995, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) obtained

DNA Gatherers Hit Snag: Tribes Don't Trust Them


December 10, 2006 New York Times

DNA Gatherers Hit Snag: Tribes Don't Trust Them


SOUTH NAKNEK, Alaska " 1

They argue that genetic ancestry information could also jeopardize land
rights and other benefits that are based on the notion that their
people have lived in a place since the beginning of time.

"What if it turns out you're really Siberian and then, oops, your
health care is gone?". said Dr. David Barrett, a co-chairman of the
Alaska Area Institutional Review Board, which is sponsored by the

The new piracy: how West 'steals' Africa's plants


By topi lyambila and agencies
Aug 28, 2006, 04:20

Swiss and British firms are accused of using the scientific properties of plants from the developing world to make huge profits while giving nothing to the people there in a report by Antony Barnett.

The Busy Lizzie is one of the most popular plants among British gardeners, providing instant colour to even the most challenging flower beds. Yet this humble plant now finds itself caught up in an international row over patents, human rights and the exploitation of poor communities in the developing world.

Kenya loses Sh70m to biopirates



It now emerges that Rift Valley residents have, in the last two years, lost more than Sh70 million to western piracy targeting indigenous plants. This follows revelations that the detergent behind the faded jeans' fashion industry is derived from an indigenous plant that was pirated from the Rift Valley's caustic lakes.

International press now have bared how a British scientists from Leicester University worked with US firm Genencor to patent-utilise without consent, a microbe that lives in the caustic lakes of Kenya's Rift Valley.



Latin America Data Base
PUBLICATION: Latin America Press
DATE: 15 August 2006
Latin America Data Base - 15 Aug 2006

Under CAFTA, indigenous heritage becomes intellectual property for the
United States.

Indigenous communities and environmentalists call it biopiracy;
international pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers call it
bioprospecting. Whatever one chooses to call it, the Free Trade
Agreement between the United States and Central America and the
Dominican Republic (CAFTA) has opened the door to foreign ownership of

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