Regulating for traditional innovation in agricultural organisms

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    Whilst any particular innovation may be new, innovation more broadly is not. In the context of agriculture, innovation through genetic change is fundamental. The genetic makeup of agricultural plants and animals used in any particular geographic location may originally have been endemic or imported, 1 but it will almost certainly have been changed through human direction and innovation. New genetic makeups, or genotypes, are developed not only in laboratories but also by small-scale farmers and indigenous and local communities. Indeed ongoing innovation by all groups is necessary for the continued productivity and intensification required to feed the future world.2 The contribution of smallscale farmers and local and indigenous communities is often expressed as being based on conserving traditional varieties; their role in the innovative process by which genetic resources are continually refined and developed, called ‘traditional innovation’ in this chapter, is frequently overlooked.3 Nevertheless, the ability of1 For example, a review of Australia’s biosecurity observed that ‘it is often forgotten that almost all the crops and animals (and much of the pastures) forming the basis of Australian agriculture were initially imported into the country … Moreover, researchers and producers alike are constantly scouring the world for improved genetic material as part of the relentless challenge of enhancing international competitiveness.’ Commonwealth of Australia. 2008. One biosecurity. A working partnership. The independent review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements report to the Australian Government (Beale Report), XVI. [Online]. Available at: Http:// file/0010/931609/report-single.pdf [accessed 13 January 2014].

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntellectual Property and Genetically Modified Organisms
    Subtitle of host publicationA Convergence in Laws
    EditorsCharles Lawson, Berris Charnley
    Place of PublicationSurrey UK
    PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317115007
    ISBN (Print)9781472443458
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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