Biotechnology offers new options for crop improvement, which may potentially benefit agriculture
and food security. However, its development, and introduction into agriculture, is riven
with conflicts. These revolve around food safety and environmental issues as well as ethical
concerns. Entrenched and conflicting views about the benefits and drawbacks of biotechnology
are stifling dialogue about its potential, regulation and the structures required for equitably
sharing the associated benefits and risks.
Drawing on two disciplinary perspectives, a perspective from international and national law
and a perspective from agriculture, farmers and plant breeding, this document highlights the
problems and conflicts created by applying Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to biological materials.