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Bioprospecting, Biopiracy and Food Security in India: The Emerging Sides of Neoliberalism

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Biopirates benefited and prospered from the plundering of natural resources from the developing and less developed countries without paying any royalty to the source countries at all. In the recent past, there have been several cases of biopiracy of traditional knowledge from India. Biopiracy in India was observed in the common plant varieties like Haldi, Basmati, Neem etc. Some cases have been highlighted with a success story, but there are also numerous stories of deprivation in the context of biopiracy. The stealing of biological resources and indigenous knowledge would affect food security, livelihood of indigenous people, and consumers‟ choice. More than 70 % of our food supply is dependent on a small number of edible plant resources, mainly wheat, maize, rice, and potato, which are fundamental to food security. Patenting of these plants varieties will definitely pose threat to the consumers. In politics, biopiracy has triggered the problem of the intrusion of national sovereignty when a corporation or a government from other countries utilizes and benefits from the patent varieties of genetic resources which derived from genetic resources or traditional knowledge from another sovereign state. However, in the past few years, developing countries have become more vocal in the international arena. This would help developing countries in the political bargaining with developed countries and can help to solve the problem of biopiracy.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 23)
S. Bhattacharya, "Bioprospecting, Biopiracy and Food Security in India: The Emerging Sides of Neoliberalism", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 23, pp. 49-56, 2014
Online since:
March 2014

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[1] S. Singh, A. Singh, Plant Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge for Food Security, p. 231, 2015


[2] A. Bhukta, S. Jana, Intellectual Property Rights and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, p. 140, 2020