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Microbial BioPiracy

Microbial BioPiracy

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Published by: ETC Group on Jan 11, 2011
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International Office: Suite 504 - 71 Bank St., Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5N2, CANADA, Tel: 613-567-6880 Fax: 613-567-6884 E-Mail: rafican@web.apc.orgRAFI-USA: P.O. Box 655, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312, USA, Tel: 919-542-1396 Fax: 919-542-0069 E-Mail: rafiusa@igc.apc.orgRAFI-AUSTRALIA: 4 Ocean Parade, Cooee Bay, Queensland 4703 AUSTRALIA E-Mail: rafiaus@peg.apc.org
OccasionalPaperSeries
Vol. 1, No. 2, June 1994
Microbial BioPiracy:An Initial Analysis of Microbial Genetic ResourcesOriginating in the South and Held in the North
 
Synopsis
: There is slow but growing recognition worldwide that agricultural and medicinalplant species - nurtured, selected,and bred over millennia by farmers and healers from the South- have yielded, and continue to yield, enormous benefits to industry in the North. A systematicanalysis, however, has never been done on the value of microbial genetic resources (such asbacteria, fungi, and viruses) to the North.With the advent of new biotechnologies and the emergence of new international agreements likethe Convention on Biological Diversity and GATT TRIPS (the Trade Related IntellectualProperty Agreement of the new GATT deal), microbial genetic resources take on a growingimportance in North/South negotiations. In this paper, RAFI draws attention to this little-knownfact.Using data from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC, the largest bank of microbialgenetic resources in the world) RAFI provides a preliminary North/South analysis of microbialgenetic resources. RAFI presents data by country, on microbial material taken from the South,housed, and in some cases patented by industry in the North - usually without the knowledge of Southern governments or peoples.
The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) is an international non-governmentalorganization which conducts research on agricultural biodiversity, biotechnology, and intellectualproperty. RAFI Occasional Papers are published irregularly, to disseminate RAFI research andwork- in- progress, and they are available from all RAFI offices. We encourage readers to copy anddistribute our material, and request only that RAFI be credited when RAFI publications are used.COST Per Issue: U.S.$10, Canadian $12, Australian $12
Preliminary List for Selected Countries
RAFI has compiled the following tables from the
Catalogue Folio Infobase
of the American Type
 
RAFI
Rural Advancement Foundation International
- Microbial BioPiracy
International Office: Suite 504 - 71 Bank St., Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5N2, CANADA, Tel: 613-567-6880 Fax: 613-567-6884 E-Mail: rafican@web.apc.orgRAFI-USA: P.O. Box 655, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312, USA, Tel: 919-542-1396 Fax: 919-542-0069 E-Mail: rafiusa@igc.apc.orgRAFI-AUSTRALIA: 4 Ocean Parade, Cooee Bay, Queensland 4703 AUSTRALIA E-Mail: rafiaus@peg.apc.org
Culture Collection (ATCC) in Rockville, Maryland, USA. The biomaterials described in theattached lists are all held in the ATCC, which is an official repository for living material underpatent claim under the terms of the Budapest Treaty. Not all of the material listed is under patentclaim.It should be noted that the ATCC is the largest of 26 facilities in 14 countries that are registeredwith the Budapest Treaty, 23 of the 26 collections are in the North.
Budapest Treaty Repositories forMicrobiological Materials
State Facilities
 North:
- United Kingdom- Russian Federation- United States- Japan- Germany- France- Netherlands- Belgium- Spain- Bulgaria- Czech Republic- Slovakia- Hungary- Australia73211111111111
South
- Korea (Republic of)3Total 26
RAFI has found the ATCC Info-base to be only roughly indicative of the material held fromcountries in the South. Sometimes regional, provincial, or colonial names are given rather thanproper country names, and much of the material is not identified by country at all. The currentstatus of patent claims is often not given, or is inaccurate.
 It is clear, however, that corporate interpretations of the Biodiversity Convention mean that all of the material on the attached lists is the legal property of the depositor and not of the donor country. In fact, the donor country, according to the Convention, is obliged to respect the rights of the depositor. Under the GATT TRIPS Agreement, all signatory states are obliged to adopt patent legislation covering micro-organisms.
RAFI will be updating these tables periodically, and adding new countries to the list. On request,RAFI will produce a similar table from the ATCC data for any country in Africa, Asia, or LatinAmerica.
 
RAFI
Rural Advancement Foundation International
- Microbial BioPiracy
Ref: Biopira.318
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Americas
 page
Brazil 4Chile 17Colombia21Costa Rica25Panama30Peru33Venezuela35
 Asia
India37Malaysia39Philippines43
 Africa
"Congo"45Ethiopia46Kenya47Zimbabwe51

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