Biopiracy refers to the development of new biotechnologies based on genetic material and informal innovation of the southern hemisphere when it does not benefit the original owners of the genetic materials and processes. To counteract this, the notion of intellectual property rights over living materials needs broad societal review. Intellectual property laws are designed to promote innovation, but are failing to protect the control of biological products and processes. Patents are important marketing tools for biotechnology firms, but they may be stifling the free flow of information and genetic. The principle of farmers’ rights should be strengthened and implemented as a protocol to the Biodiversity Convention.
Agricutural biotechnology; public good; deloping nations; technology transfer; government regulation; global population;