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Global Biopiracy: Patents, Plants, and Indigenous Knowledge

By: Ikechi Mgbeoji

Cornell University Press

Paperback | Jul 2006 | #161519 | ISBN: 080147311X
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NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx

About this book

Biopiracy raises serious issues pertaining to the conservation of biological diversity and genetic resources in agriculture, the integrity of plant life forms, a just international economic order, and development. Since the emergence of the biotechnology industry, 'biopiracy' has become a lightning rod for activists.-from the Introduction

The appropriation of plants and traditional knowledge by corporations and other entities is often called biopiracy. Such practices arise from a cultural milieu that systematically marginalizes non-Western forms of knowledge, which are devalued as "folk knowledge" or characterized as inferior. Global Biopiracy rethinks the role of international law and legal concepts, global patent systems, and international agricultural research institutions as they affect legal ownership and control of plants and the knowledge that makes them valuable.

Ikechi Mgbeoji first examines the Western assumptions and biases that inform the patent system, international law, and institutions affecting farmers around the globe. He next analyzes the cultural and economic traits that divide the industrialized world and the developing world. Finally, Mgbeoji confronts the phenomenal loss of human cultures and plant diversity that has already occurred and that will continue in the future unless protective measures are implemented and enforced.

"Ikechi Mgbeoji masterfully unearths the technicalities and subtleties of the issue of biopiracy and exposes the underappreciation of the role of women and farmers and the 'masculinization' of knowledge. This book is a must-read for those interested in biopiracy."-James T. Gathii, Albany Law School

About the Author
Ikechi Mgbeoji is a Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and the author of Collective Insecurity: The Liberian Crisis, Unilateralism, and Global Order.

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