Patents threaten global food security

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food security, Agriculture

Anti-poverty groups and activists are cited as saying in a recent
report that global food security is under threat from bio-pirates.

Anti-poverty groups and activists are cited as saying in a recent report that global food security is under threat from "bio-pirates"​ who takeplants from developing countries, change them slightly then patent the newvarieties. ActionAid, an international development agency campaigning against thecauses of poverty, was quoted as saying in its recent "Crops and Robbers"​report that, "Today's pirates are cheating the poor and are now emerging as a threat to people's right to food."​ Renee Vellve at GRAIN, a non-governmental body which promotes biodiversity,was quoted as saying,"It's unacceptable for a corporation to take thegenetic resources that farmers have developed and conserved, do sometweaking and then claim a private monopoly on the material."​ The increasing use of genetic modification only exacerbates the problem,says Lorenzo Consoli, GMO advisor at Greenpeace.He says rich companies find themselves in a "win-win-win"​ situation: They have the copyright on the seed, they sell seed to the farmers - usuallyevery year because they forbid the farmers to store it - and invariably thefarmers are obliged to use the pesticides produced and sold by the very samefirm. "Genetically modified crops have been conceived by the companies with a viewto getting control of the world's food supply,"​ said Consoli, who has deep fears about the potential environmental, socio-economic and bio-diversity damage. "Taking resources or imposing a new agricultural system on the south whileall the time the money is going back to the western corporations...isdamaging bio-diversity and food security," agreed ActionAid's Elford.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars