By Vandana Shiva
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Additional info for Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge
In this story, lack of confidence that his idea can be protected would in all probability lead Carlos to a negative decision at each of these decision points. If the story of Carlos is multiplied many times across a landscape, that country’s opportunity loss is devastating. When an effective protection system becomes a reality, confidence will grow that intellectual assets are valuable and protectable. 3 Central to the ideology of IPRs is the fallacy that people are creative only if they can make profits and guarantee them through IPR protection.
The conflicts that have been unleashed by the GATT treaty, by patents on life-forms, by the patenting of indigenous knowledge, and by genetic engineering are grounded in processes that can be summarized and symbolized as the second coming of Columbus. At the heart of Columbus’s “discovery” was the treatment of piracy as a natural right of the colonizer, necessary for the deliverance of the colonized. At the heart of the GATT treaty and its patent laws is the treatment of biopiracy as a natural right of Western corporations, necessary for the “development” of Third World communities.
Currently, well over 190 genetically engineered animals, including fish, cows, mice, and pigs, are figuratively standing in line to be patented by a variety of researchers and corporations. According to Kimbrell: The Supreme Court’s Chakravarty decision has been extended to be continued, up the chain of life. 2 Biodiversity has been redefined as “biotechnological invention” to make the patenting of life-forms appear less controversial. These patents are valid for 20 years and, hence, cover future generations of plants and animals.
Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge by Vandana Shiva