Protecting local diversity in scenarios of modern food biotechnology, globalised trade and intellectual property rights
Haslberger, Alexander G., Gesche, Astrid H., Proyer, Michelle, Paulesich, Reinhard, & Gressler, Sabine (2007) Protecting local diversity in scenarios of modern food biotechnology, globalised trade and intellectual property rights. In Zollitsch, W., Winckler, C., Waiblinger, S., & Haslberger, A. (Eds.) Sustainable food production and ethics: Preprints of the 7th Congress of the European Society for Agriculture and Food Ethics. EurSAFE 2007., Wageningen Academic, Vienna, Austria, pp. 163-168.
Decreased global and local diversity and a homogenization of biota is seen as a major threat to ecological and socio economic resilience. Consequences of modern food production, such as global propagation of few high yielding elite lines, declining diversity of landraces or consequences from gene flow, interact with socioeconomic drivers such as trade and intellectual property regulations in accelerating the mostly irreversible and broadening impacts of loss of biodiversity. Especially the SPS agreement under WTO prohibits any approaches to restrict trade of foods because of other reasons than sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures. Already now the reports of the UN- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports alarmingly increasing homogenization of biota and distribution of exotic species by trade and trans- boundary movements. This development is considered to reduce local ecological and social resilience in food production significantly. In the light of these developments trade regulations need to be reconsidered. The use of new, ethically guided structured Matrixes or Codes for an integrated assessment of safety and societal consequences and a participatory priority setting including aspects of public goods, such as conservation, seems to be mandatory.
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