Environmental Health News

What's Working

  • Garden Mosaics projects promote science education while connecting young and old people as they work together in local gardens.
  • Hope Meadows is a planned inter-generational community containing foster and adoptive parents, children, and senior citizens
  • In August 2002, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board voted to ban soft drinks from all of the district’s schools

Biopiracy, TRIPS, and the Patenting of Asia's Rice Bowl


Publication Date:


Biopiracy, or the stealing of genetic material and knowledge from communities in the gene-rich developing countries, is an exploding issue in Asia. Industrialised countries want exploitation and ownership rights over the biodiversity of the South. In a sense, this goes back to the colonial era, when countries like England and the Netherlands took control of crop resources in Asia to build up their trade empires around cotton, sugar, tea, rubber, pepper, and the like. Biopiracy is a new name for this old process. Liberalization of trade through fora like GATT or APEC is driven by pressure from industrialised countries, which aim to dominate world markets. Winning monopoly control over Asia's biodiversity and indigenous knowledge through intellectual property laws is crucial to their strategy today.

Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (24)