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Re: [GreenYes] 13 Firms Own 80% of GM Crop Patents The Times of India 14jan02
Paul Goettlich wrote:
> 
> I am presenting this article in reference to the of farming plant-based
> plastics.
> 
> Paul
> ********************************************************
> 
> 13 Firms Own 80% of GM Crop Patents The Times of India 14jan02
> ------------------------------------
> Solution:
> a democratic control of science and technology
> through public involvement in setting science agenda
> and establishing ethical boundaries.
> ------------------------------------
> BANGALORE -- Nearly 80 per cent of genetic modification of crops worldwide
> is undertaken by four companies. And there is an increase in control over
> genetically modified products through patents - 13 companies own 80 per cent
> of the patents in GM crops. Such statistics raise questions of security of a
> very small group in the world, holding technology and power born of it in
> their hands. But Prof Sue Mayer, Director of Greenwatch UK, offered possible
> solutions: a democratic control of science and technology through public
> involvement in setting science agenda and establishing ethical boundaries.
> Prof Mayer is with a public interest science policy research group looking
> at implications of new genetic technologies. She spoke on Social and ethical
> issues in biotechnology research,' here on Sunday as part of the on-going
> Indo-UK Science Festival.
> 
> Crops:
> The biggest problems these days in the field of biotechnology in UK was the
> question whether the two systems of organic farming and GM Food farming can
> co-exist. The other worry was the flow of foreign genes into the wild gene
> of related species; the damage that could be caused to the non-target
> species. For example, a dramatic decline in farmlife like birds was seen in
> GM fields where there were no weeds and pests. Then there is the question of
> how long will it take for pests to develop resistance to such GM crops like
> they have developed resistance to many pesticides? The future and third
> generation of GM crops would see industrial uses -- making oils and biofuels
> for industry from GM crops and drug production.
> 
> Health:
> On the health front, the worry was of new toxins, new allergens, and
> antibiotic resistance genes that could increase problems with more drug-
> resistant diseases was greatest.
> 
> Animals:
> The biggest area of benefit for GM animals was in the field of medicine. But
> there are always plant alternatives for drug production. Xenotransplantation
> where GM animal organs are transplanted into humans have an alternative in
> stem cell production.
> 
> International tensions:
> Patenting life is creating international tensions because the developed
> world was pressing for globally homogenous Intellectual Property Laws, and
> developing countries were worried, among others, about royalty demands. The
> ethical issue is that a technical risk assessment conceals judgments
> informed by science but not science alone. Science is necessary but not
> sufficient explanation alone,'' said Mayer.
> 
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