- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Revised laws ’could promote biopiracy’ in Peru
SciDev.Net | February 19, 2009
Revised laws ’could promote biopiracy’ in Peru
Modifications to intellectual property laws that the Peruvian government "rushed through" to enable the go-ahead of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Peru and the United States could facilitate biopiracy and hamper Peru’s position as a protector of traditional knowledge, say experts.
Changes to intellectual property rights, environment and labour laws were sent to congress last month (8 January) and passed without debate before their enactment on 14 January — giving George Bush time to finalise the agreement before he left office.
The rush stemmed from fears that new US president Barack Obama would object to the treaty, which entered into force on 1 February.
But experts have warned that the changes have resulted in flexibility in certain regulations, leaving them open to broad legal interpretation, which could facilitate genetic resource patenting by other countries.
Decision 148 of the regulations of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) — of which Peru is a member — states that "biological material existing in nature or those which can be isolated, including genome or germplasm of any natural living being, cannot be the subject of a patent".
The Peruvian amendment says biological material "in whole or in part" cannot be considered an invention — but there is no explicit mention of genes or germplasm.
This ambiguity could benefit large corporations seeking to patent genes for genetically modified organisms, Manuel Ruiz from the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, told SciDev.Net.
Rules protecting indigenous knowledge related to biological resources have also been changed. CAN stipulates the presentation of a ’certificate of origin’ before patenting — proving access has been officially authorised.
But the amendment merely requires the filing of a licence — which can be issued by lesser authorities. Additionally, failure to use the licence will incur only a penalty, rather than cancellation of the patent as the CAN mandate stipulates.
Ruiz says the changes are a "step back" in progress made so far.
"This measure will cause biopiracy ... allowing any person or company to patent our resources or knowledge only by filing a license contract."
Government officials accept that the modifications increase flexibility, but say they do not facilitate biopiracy or violate the CAN regulations.
"The changes of the law do not allow the patenting of genes, because the amendment reiterates that the biological material existing in nature, either in whole or in part, is not an invention," Manuel Sigüeñas, from the governmental National Institute for Agrarian Innovation, told SciDev.Net.
The amendments were enacted on the same day the regional government of Cusco approved a law against biopiracy and protection of indigenous knowledge (see Peruvian region outlaws biopiracy).
Other government officials admitted that the law "could pose a certain threat to Peruvian biodiversity". Several officials said the National Commission on Prevention of Biopiracy are due to meet to discuss concerns.
News from the movements
28-Mar-2017 Tercera InformaciónLa campaña No al TTIP, CETA, TiSA, de la que forma parte Ecologistas en Acción, pide a los grupos parlamentarios tiempo suficiente para un escrutinio exhaustivo de un tratado que impactaría directamente en la población e hipotecaría gravemente su futuro.
23-Mar-2017 Front anti APE et anti CFA - SénégalLe comité de pilotage du Front anti Accords de Partenariat Economique (APE) et anti franc CFA après avoir apprécié la situation politique, économique et sociale actuelle a pris des décisions importantes.
22-Mar-2017 S2BJoint civil society statement on the Eu-Japan free trade agreement.
22-Mar-2017 G20 ProtestsLa “Semana de solidaridad global” contra el G20 nos dará la oportunidad de expresar el otro mundo y nuestra convicción de que es posible.
17-Mar-2017 No al TTIP
Taller de formación: ‘El Tratado de los Pueblos y las normas vinculantes de la ONU. Alternativas al TTIP, CETA, TiSA’El taller se impartirá de forma presencial en Madrid y se transmitirá en tiempo real.
Ces « zones libres » en Europe qui privilégient les alternatives locales face au néolibéralisme globalDes élus volontaristes pourront-ils, demain, soutenir la relocalisation de l’économie, favoriser les aliments bios et locaux dans les cantines scolaires ou reprendre la main sur la gestion de l’eau ou de l’énergie ?
15-Mar-2017 Tele SurRiot police clashed with protesters in Viña Del Mar, where representatives of the 11 remaining member states of the Trans Pacific Partnership together with China, Colombia and South Korea met.
15-Mar-2017 Tele SurActivists have a message for trade ministers meeting in Chile: the TPP is dead.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.