Agro-Biodiversity and Food Security: Biotechnology and Traditional Agricultural Practices at the Periphery of International Intellectual Property Regime Complex

According to regime theory, inequities in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has provided a catalyst for counter-regime dynamics against TRIPS and the greater international intellectual property system (IIPS). The post-TRIPS regime analyses of the IIPS focus on intellectual property’s relationship with a number of external regimes, especially health, rights, biodiversity, and indigenous knowledge. The subjects of agricultural biodiversity (agro-biodiversity) and food security are equally important sites for the regime debate, but are not specifically addressed. The neoliberal economic system undermines agro-biodiversity, traditional agricultural practices, and thus food security in indigenous and local communities, in favour of protecting intellectual property in agricultural biotechnology (agro-biotech). Agro-biodiversity, traditional agricultural practices, and food security are marginalized issues addressed in critiques of the IIPS, despite the centrality of intellectual property in addressing agro-biodiversity and global food insecurity. This article situates agro-biodiversity and food security within the political economics of agriculture to highlight the complex dynamics that account for their virtual absence in the regime discourse and to underscore the weakness or constraints of the narrow framework of the regime debate.

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Oguamanam, Chidi, Agro-Biodiversity and Food Security: Biotechnology and Traditional Agricultural Practices at the Periphery of International Intellectual Property Regime Complex (2007). Michigan State Law Review, Vol. 2007, No. 215, 2007.

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