Business Archives

January 18, 2005

Pardon Our Dust...

WorldChanging is doing a behind-the-scenes move over the next few hours. If all goes well, it should be imperceptible to you, the reader. One of the side-effects of what we're doing, however, is that any comments made over the next couple of hours could be lost. Please don't make any comments to WC posts until we're up and running in our new location. If you're just burning to let us know what you think about something we've posted, send us email.

Thank you for your patience.


March 11, 2005

Victory Against Biopiracy

WorldChanging ally and commenter Laurens "Lorenzo" Rademakers gave us a heads-up on a terrific bit of news: India has won a decade-long battle at the European Patent Office against a patent granted on a product derived from the native plant neem. The EU Parliament's Green Party, India-based Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) successfully argued that the anti-fungal properties of neem were part of the traditional knowledge of Indians, and that the patenting corporation, WC Grace, had engaged in "biopiracy."

The backbone of RFSTE's challenge was that the fungicide qualities of the neem tree and its use had been known in India for over 2,000 years.

The neem derivatives have also been used traditionally to make insect repellents, soaps, cosmetics, tooth cleaners and contraceptives.

Vandana Shiva, the Indian environmentalist in charge of RFSTE, was quoted as saying "...Denying the patent means upholding the value of traditional knowledge for millions of women not only in India, but throughout the South. The Free Tree Will Stay Free."

Traditional Knowledge Databases are a good start to the documentation of medical, food, architectural and cultural knowledge of different societies, and can help Western political institutions recognize claims of "prior art" in biopiracy patent disputes.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to WC Archive in the Business category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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