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Spread of Bt cotton technology limited to few nations
Oct '12
The use of intellectual property rights (IPR) is one of the most important -- yet largely unfortunate -- developments of globalization and has severely hindered scientific development by restricting the proliferation of knowledge.

That was the case made by Dr. Yusuf Zafar, director general of the agriculture & biotechnology division at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, during a technical seminar entitled, "Intellectual Property Rights and the Role of Private Breeders."

"We live in the era of the “knowledge economy", and how we regulate that knowledge -- and decide who owns the rights to it -- will be one of the determining factors in how well this knowledge economy works," Dr. Zafar said during the session, which was held on Oct. 10, during the International Cotton Advisory Committee's (ICAC) 71st Plenary Meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Intellectual property rights circumscribe the use of knowledge and -- almost by definition -- cause systemic inefficiencies, he added.

"What separates developing and developed countries is a gap in knowledge and resources. Despite the revolutionary nature of biotechnology in creating new products, including Bt cotton, the spread and penetration of the new crop biotechnology is limited to few countries, to a very few selected crops, and also to a few selected traits," said Dr. Zafar, who had been formally recognized as ICAC Researcher of the Year during the conference's inaugural session on Monday, Oct. 8.

International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)

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