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Making the rules of the world Geoff Tansey www.tansey.org.uk Green Feast, 12 Mar 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Making the rules of the world Geoff Tansey www.tansey.org.uk Green Feast, 12 Mar 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the rules of the world Geoff Tansey Green Feast, 12 Mar 2008

2 Power Control Risk Benefits

3 Food System actors Input suppliers Farmers Traders Workers Processors / manufacturers Wholesalers / retailers Caterers Consumers / citizens

4 Food system basics Biological - ecological History Human needs physiological psychological social cultural

5 Limited demand Increased competition Technology Increased productivity Diversification

6 Key trends Economic Concentration Global markets Control

7 Power shifts Source: J-PGrievink, Cap Gemini, OECD 2003 Thanks to Tim Lang/City University

8 Tools for control Science Technology Information Management Laws, rules, regulations

9 Modern biotech Mix genes from any species with another Redesign living organisms for wide variety of ends

10 New processes, new rules Shift legal framework Create new ‘property rights‘ over life forms

11 Importance of Intellectual Property Underpins ‘knowledge economy’ media & entertainment, software pharmaceuticals / biotechnology brand power Means to Exclude others, capture and appropriate benefits

12 Intellectual Property Rights Copyright Trademarks Geographical indications Patents & plant variety protection Trade secrets Industrial designs

13 Language and reality monopoly (or exclusionary) privileges - IMPs not IPRs

14 Costs of granting IMPs Shift market power Higher consumer prices Increase cost of knowledge acquisition Facilitate anti- competitive practices cross-licensing tie-in sales buy-up patents threaten law suits

15 Turning plant varieties into intellectual property The UPOV Convention International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants European response to US patents 1961, 72, 78, 91, ?? What is new, breeders exemption, farmers ‘privilege’

16 Bringing minimum intellectual property standards into agriculture TRIPS at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Kicking away the ladder (Ha Joon Chang) Requires patenting of microorganisms, plant variety protection Option not to patent plant and animals

17 Promoting and extending the reach of intellectual property WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organisation Development agenda Genetic resources and traditional knowledge Technical assistance

18

19 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Safeguarding biodiversity conserve, sustain, share benefits Access and benefit sharing regime? Biosafety Protocol Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) Labelling? Liability and redress?

20 The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) Giving Priority to the Commons Facilitated access to listed food crops Farmers’ rights Standard Material Transfer Agreement

21 Complex connections The negotiations web Forum shifting Harmonization vs differentiation Disclosure of origin Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Human rights, MDGs

22

23 Thanks: Food Ethics Council

24 Responding to change Civil society critiques Corporate control Patenting life / traditional knowledge Food sovereignty Changing face of research and development Access to knowledge, Freedom to operate Skewing questions asked, solutions sought

25 Postcards from negotiations NGOs can make a different Access to medicine experience Networking, targetted support Principles / people matter Negotiating vs real gains

26 Global rules, local needs Democratic deficit Complexity and coercion FTAs, BITs and EPAs Which and whose future is enhanced? Collapse, techno-dominance, ecological balance, bifurcation Going the wrong way? Open access, distributed innovation, ecologically supportive or the pharma model

27 Legal fictions - meeting whose needs? Conservative, protectionist response to new knowledge and technical change Limiting not enhancing human creativity and sharing Inhibit local / institutional / social / economic innovation needed for sustainable food system


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