Patent Rights to Genetically Modified Crops as a New Form of Colonialism

Abstract

Namjera je ovog rada istaknuti da je presudom Vrhovnog suda SAD-a u slučaju Diamond vs. Chakrabarty dozvoljeno patentiranje životnih oblika. Biotehnološke korporacije presudom su dobile poticaj za patentiranje i stavljanje na tržište svojih proizvoda, u prvom redu genetički modificiranih usjeva. Mogućnost patentiranja životnih oblika, od biljaka i životinja do ljudskih gena, izazvalo je mnoštvo novih etičkih dvojbi. Ovaj rad istražuje pitanje patentnih prava u njegovoj kompleksnosti. Patentna zaštita omogućila je nerazmjernu moć biotehnološkim korporacijama u odnosu na poljoprivrednike, o čemu svjedoče mnoge tužbe koje su biotehnološke korporacije na čelu s Monsantom pokrenule protiv poljoprivrednika. Posebno se osvrćemo na sudski spor između Monsanta i Percyja Schmeisera, u čijem se slučaju jasno ocrtavaju sve etičke dvojbe koje donosi tehnologija genetičkog modificiranja. Sporazum TRIPS pokušaj je usklađivanja zakonodavstva država članica Svjetske trgovinske organizacije (WTO) s potrebama i željama vezanima uz zaštitu patentnih prava korporacija. Terminator-tehnologija nastala je kao odgovor biotehnoloških korporacija na kršenje patentnih prava njihovog genetički modificiranog sjemena. U radu je, kroz analizu razvoja patentne zaštite, vidljiv trend dominacije biotehnoloških korporacija ne samo na tržištu već i u strukturama društva. Tehnologija genetičkog modificiranja, prema tumačenju pojedinih autora, postaje nova vrsta imperijalizma ili kolonijalizma.The intention of this paper is to point out that the verdict of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Diamond vs. Chakrabarty allowed patenting of life forms. With this verdict, biotech corporations were given a boost in patenting and marketing their products, primarily genetically modified crops. The possibility of patenting life forms, from plants and animals to human genes, has caused a host of new ethical dilemmas. This paper explores the question of patent law in its complexity. Patent protection has enabled the disproportionate power of biotech corporations in relation to farmers, as evidenced in many lawsuits that the biotech corporations, led by Monsanto, have launched against farmers. Special attention is paid to the court case between Monsanto and Percy Schmeiser, which clearly delineates all the ethical dilemmas that genetic modification technology brings. TRIPS Agreement is an attempt to harmonize the legislation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Member States with the corporations’ needs and desires of protecting patent rights. Terminator technology was created by biotech corporations as a response to patent infringement of their genetically modified seed. By analysing the development of patent protection, this paper indicates the trend of biotech corporations’ domination not only in the market, but also in the structure of the society. The technology of genetic modification, according to the interpretation of several authors, is becoming a new kind of imperialism

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