Friday, September 15, 2006


Dilemma re: IP

Last week The Guardian (and Libé) reported that, after the contamination of American long-grain rice (a shipload of which was blocked in Rotterdam this week, by the way, having been test positive by French and Swedish labs),
Government scientists are to investigate claims that traces of illegal GM rice have been found in food products on sale in the UK. Green groups Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace said yesterday they had found the GM contamination in three packets of noodles and rice sticks bought from speciality stores in London's Chinatown.

The products were imported from China, where farmers have illegally planted large amounts of unapproved experimental varieties of rice genetically engineered to be resistant to insects.

Personally, I don't own any patents, and that probably makes it easier for me to oppose their application to certain types of inventions, particularly to algorithms and living things. Patent clever procedures for executing genetic modifications if you must, but not the resulting beings.

On the other hand, it is tempting to hope that the Chinese violated someone's patent on this rice, and can be pressured to cease and desist from growing it.

Hopefully, an EU embargo will suffice (maybe the Japanese will detect the same tainting and embargo, too), so GMO IP will not be useful.

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