Tag Archives: agriculture

Teff Flour Patent Controversy Settled: Dutchman Does Not Have Patent Right to the Ethiopian Food Staple

Teff is an Ethiopian ancient grain used to make injera, a spongy fermented flatbread that is a food staple of Ethiopian culture. In 2007, a Dutchman, Jans Roosjen, obtained two patents for teff flour. The Dutch District Court of The Hague recently invalidated those two patents in Ancientgrain BV v Bakels Senior NV, and Ethiopians are…
Read more

GMO Crops, Risks to Biodiversity, and the Enduring Value of Indigenous Knowledge

As early as 2021, Bayer (previously Bayer-Monsanto) will release SmartStax Pro, the first federally-approved GMO to use RNA interference – a biological process that prevents cells from creating specific proteins – to defend plants against consumption by specific insect pests. Release of a GMO naturally corresponds with a reduction in biodiversity as the previous crops are outcompeted…
Read more

Implications of Digital DNA on the Nagoya Protocol

“Biopiracy” refers to the phenomena whereby plants and animals are physically removed from Indigenous communities, without their knowledge or consent, in order to extract and manipulate genetic material from those plants or animals. This is typically done to commercialize some characteristic of the plant or animal that has marketable properties. For example, the anti-freeze proteins…
Read more

Lessons from Mexico to Canada: GM Crops as Threats to Indigenous Ways of Life

A legal battle over GMO crops in Mexico may shed light on how Canada will interpret Aboriginal and Treaty rights as they relate to economic and agricultural activity on land subject to those rights.   Glyphosate is a powerful herbicide. It was developed into a commercial product called Roundup by Monsanto in the 1970s, and…
Read more