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[News] Ghana Screwed by Patents on Seeds

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Where Do I Stand on GMOs?

,----[ Quote ]
| I'm conscious that I've written a lot of 
| negative posts about genetically-modified 
| organisms on this blog. That might lead 
| readers to believe I'm against them. That's 
| not the case: I am naturally pro-technology, 
| and GMOs are potentially an important tool 
| for addressing many of the world's most 
| pressing problems. But I have my concerns, 
| and I was pleased to find that Salon's Andrew 
| Leonard not only shares them, but has 
| expressed them rather well:
| 
|     I don't actually have a position on 
|     whether GMOs are by definition good or 
|     bad for the environment or human health 
|     or even the challenge of alleviating 
|     hunger in the developing world. My basic 
|     stance, in fact, is pro-science: I 
|     believe technological advances have 
|     greatly advanced human health and 
|     affluence, and will continue to do so, if 
|     properly regulated. My concern re GMOs 
|     has always stemmed from a profound 
|     skepticism that profit-seeking 
|     corporations can be trusted to 
|     responsibly serve the public good. One 
|     need look only at the constant stream of 
|     reports detailing unethical and criminal 
|     behavior by major pharmaceutical 
|     companies to 
|     realize that this is hardly a 
|     hypothetical concern.
| 
|     In the case of GMOs we are dealing with a 
|     remarkable concentration of intellectual 
|     property ownership in just a handful of 
|     corporations. Like all well-endowed 
|     corporate actors, these companies do not 
|     shy from vigorously lobbying governments 
|     in favor of putting into place place 
|     legal frameworks that are designed to 
|     maximize profits and minimize caution.
`----

http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2010/03/where-do-i-stand-on-gmos.html

Genetically modified Ghana

,----[ Quote ]
| In the case of GMOs we are dealing with a 
| remarkable concentration of intellectual 
| property ownership in just a handful of 
| corporations. Like all well-endowed corporate 
| actors, these companies do not shy from 
| vigorously lobbying governments in favor of 
| putting into place place legal frameworks 
| that are designed to maximize profits and 
| minimize caution.
| 
| [...]
| 
| If you google Ghana and genetically modified 
| crops, you will very quickly run into the 
| name Walter Alhassan, a consultant for the 
| Accra-based Forum for Agricultural Research 
| in Africa (FARA), and a strong advocate for 
| the position that Ghana's government "needs 
| to speed up the passage of the Biosafety Bill 
| to the global trend to improve agriculture 
| and food security."
`----

http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2010/03/16/ghana_and_genetically_modified_crops/index.html

Switzerland stands strong against GE

,----[ Quote ]
| The Swiss Parliament has just extended its 
| ban on the cultivation of genetically 
| engineered (GE) plants for three more years. 
| Originally enacted in 2005, Switzerland will 
| stay GE-free until at least 2013.
`----

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/switzerland-GMO-moratorium090310


Recent:

Monsantoâs Seed Patents May Trump Antitrust Claims (Update2)

,----[ Quote ]
| âJustice is clearly trying every way it can
| to see whether Monsanto is exceeding its
| rights under the patent,â said James Weiss, a
| Washington-based attorney at K&L Gates LLP
| who helped defend Microsoft Corp. against a
| federal antitrust probe. âAt the end of the
| day, they may not be able to do much with it
| because of the scope of those patents. In
| almost all the cases, the courts come out on
| the side of intellectual property.â
|
| Yet Monsantoâs seeds are so ubiquitous that
| they have become like AT&Tâs telephone lines
| before the companyâs 1984 breakup or
| Microsoft Corp.âs Windows operating system in
| the 1990s, said James P. Denvir, an attorney
| who represents rival seedmaker DuPont Co. and
| led the governmentâs AT&T case.
|
| [...]
|
| Monsantoâs attorney, Dan Webb, defended
| Microsoft in 2002 against government
| antitrust claims. A former U.S. Attorney in
| Chicago, he also prosecuted Admiral John
| Poindexter in the Iran- Contra affair.
`----

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-12/monsanto-s-seed-patents-may-trump-antitrust-claims-lawyers-say.html
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