TRIPS and farmers` rights

  • 14/06/1994

Gatt on TRIPS
Provides for protection of plant varieties.

Microorganism and microbiological processes are patentable.

Countries can either provide for patenting of plant varieties or develop an effective sui generis system of protection or a combination of both.

Pro-GATT position
This will not affect farmers' rights to use and sell seeds.

Naturally occurring genes will not be patented.

Anti-GATT position
There is no such thing as an artificial gene. So transgenic constructs will become patentable, which will work like patents on plants and animals. This will restrict farmers' access to genetic resources.

Farmers' rights to use and sell seeds will be subject to the consent of plant breeders.

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