Monday, 28 April 2008

The future control of food: a guide to international negotiations and rules on IPR

In today’s world, there is massive over-production and over-consumption, yet millions experience scarcity and hunger.

This book looks at some of the forces and rules shaping the food system and who has control over it. In particular, the book focuses on rules on intellectual property – for example patents, plant breeders’ rights, trademarks and copyright – and their relations to other rules on biodiversity, an essential requirement for food security. It looks through the lens of intellectual property (IP) at the future control of food and farming, arguing that rules on IP are
central to struggles over the distribution of wealth and power in the 21st century.

The book concludes by discussing civil society responses to relevant changes and developments in these issues, how they affect the direction of research and development, the nature of global negotiation processes and various alternative futures.
(By G. Tansey and T. Rajotte, IDRC, 2008)

'This is a timely book, providing useful insights on how international policies can, directly, indirectly and inadvertently, impact on food security. All stakeholders engaged in policymaking that affects the human food chain have a lot to gain by reading it.'

Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International

'In a field dominated by slogans, mistrust, rhetorical claims and counterclaims, this is a welcome factual account – you do not have to agree with all it contains but it helps the reader towards a better understanding of the issues. That understanding could help create a critical mass of people who want the fair, practical and deliverable changes that will be essential as we move to meet the challenges of more people, climate change, equity and ecosystem conservation. Ownership may not be the issue – but control and choice are.' Andrew Bennett, Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture