Biopiracy, Bioprospecting, and the Genetic Revolution

This discussion topic submitted by Steven A. Beckley ( at 8:43 pm on 5/17/00. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

The topic is a look at genetic engineering and what the consequences are at this time. Costa Rica is a unique example in that it has formed a symbiotic relationship with a pharmaceutical company to prevent the outright stealing of genetic material. A closer look is taken at other parts of the world. Also the some of the current problems with genetically modified foods are discussed, along with ethical considerations. This topic is of utmost importance because it could be used in a positive or negative way for Tropical Ecosystems, greatly affecting their conservation.

Outline For Biopiracy, Bioprospecting, and the Genetic Revolution

I.) Introduction
a.) Brief description of ongoing debate
II.) World Trade Organization
a.) IRPs and TRIPS
b.) U.S. Patents and the WTO agreement
III.) The More Common Example of Bioprospecting
a.) Neem tree in India
b.) Basmati and Jasmine Rice in Thailand
IV.) The Costa Rican System
a.) INBio system of integration
b.) Merck and Co. support
c.) Other related examples
V.) Current Glitches in Genetic Engineering
a.) Examples of unsuccessful seeds, gene transfers, tec.
VI.) Conclusions
a.) Ethical Considerations in Gene Revolution
b.) Indigenous and Third World Perspectives

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Kerr, W. A., Hobbs, J.E., Yampoin, R. (1999). Intellectual property protection,
biotechnology and developing countries: Will the TRIPS be effective? AgBioForum, 2. 203-211.

Khor, M. (1996). Third World: The worldwide fight against biopiracy. Race & Class,26. 73-77.

King, S. R., and Carlson, T.J. (1996). Transnationals with a conscience: Some drug companies are trying to do the right thing. Intercencia

Kingsnorth, P. (1999). U.S. fights rearguard action to protect ŽbiopiracyŪ. Ecologist, 29. 368.

Paarlberg, R. (2000). Genetically modified crops in developing countries: Promise or peril? Environment, 42. 19-27.

Reid, W.V., (1994). Pharmaceutical giant shares the wealth: Merck funds R&D in Costa Rica. Issues in Science and Technology.

van der Gaag, N., Steinbrecher, R., Te Pareake, A., (1997). Genes. New Internationalist August. 7-30.

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It is 6:29:29 AM on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Last Update: Wednesday, May 7, 2014