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Engineering TroubleBiotechnology and Its Discontents$
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Rachel Schurman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520237612

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520237612.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2019

Biotech Battles

Biotech Battles

Plants, Power, and Intellectual Property in the New Global Governance Regimes

(p.174) 7 Biotech Battles
Engineering Trouble

Kathleen McAfee

University of California Press

New global environmental institutions, particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, have become staging grounds for resistance to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and to the market-based management of genetic resources that the WTO supports. The origins, limitations, and conflicts of WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement are elaborated. In contrast to the WTO, the CBD establishes an arguable basis in international law for taking non-economic criteria into account in biotechnology regulation. It recognizes the sovereignty of states over genetic and other resources within their territories. The U.S. government's commitment to promote the international expansion of its agricultural, pharmaceutical, and technology industries prevailed over U.S. environmentalists' desire for a comprehensive conservation treaty. Enforcement of intellectual property rights at the local level may be difficult in the face of growing defiance by social movements.

Keywords:   CBD, World Trade Organization, Intellectual Property Rights, biotechnology regulation, U.S. government, U.S. environmentalists, conservation treaty

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