The Future Control of Food: A Guide to International Negotiations and Rules on Intellectual Property, Biodiversity and Food Security, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Future Control of Food

A Guide to International Negotiations and Rules on Intellectual Property, Biodiversity and Food Security, 1st Edition

Edited by Geoff Tansey, Tasmin Rajotte


288 pages

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This book is the first wide-ranging guide to the key issues of intellectual property and ownership, genetics, biodiversity and food security. Proceeding from an introduction and overview of the issues, comprehensive chapters cover negotiations and instruments in the World Trade Organization, Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and various other international bodies. The final part discusses the responses of civil society groups to the changing global rules, how these changes affect the direction of research and development, the nature of global negotiation processes and various alternative futures. Published with IDRC and QIAP.


'This is the best single summary of the political choices facing food and agriculture policymakers that has been written in this decade.' Pat Mooney, Executive Director, the ETC Group 'An excellent resource for those mapping the increasing control of our food chain by international players.' Suman Sahai, Director, Gene Campaign, India 'A comprehensive and outstanding analysis.' Keith E. Maskus, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder 'Brave, visionary and inevitably controversial.' Andrew Bennett, Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture 'An excellent collection of guideposts for perplexed students and scholars and a handbook for the seasoned diplomat seeking to make the world a better place.' Professor Calestous Juma, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University 'I recommend it to all who play a role in the formulation of relevant international norms in whatever capacity, and regardless of the interests they may represent.' Leo Palma, Deputy Director, Advisory Centre on WTO Law 'Well-researched … condenses the essence of decades of negotiations into a readable but disturbing narrative … it is essential reading.' Patrick Mulvany, Chair, UK Food Group 'A Thoroughly researched book. For those who want to defend food sovereignty, it is essential reading.' GRAIN 'A valuable addition to the vast literature on the commoditization of food and its effects on the livelihoods of poor people in ?developing? countries.' The Journal of Biosocial Science 'Worth having for the three and a half page glossary alone which will make sure you know what you are talking about if you stray into a conversation about genetic engineering, genomics or intellectual property rights.' BMS world mission, Catalyst Magazine

Table of Contents

Preface * Part I: A Changing Food System * Food, Farming and Global Rules * Part II: The Key Global Negotiations and Agreements * Turning Plant Varieties into Intellectual Property: The UPOV Convention * Bringing Minimum Global Intellectual Property Standards into Agriculture: The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) * Promoting and Extending the Reach of Intellectual Property: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) * Safeguarding Biodiversity: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) * Giving Priority to the Commons: The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) * The Negotiations Web: Complex Connections * Part III: Responses, Observations and Prospects * Responding to Change * Postcards from International Negotiations * Global Rules, Local Needs * Glossary * Index

About the Editors

Geoff Tansey is a researcher and writer on intellectual property, food and agriculture and a Joseph Rowntree Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World. He is lead author of The Food System (1995) and co-editor of The Meat Business (1999) and Negotiating Health (2005). Tasmin Rajotte has worked in the field of sustainable agriculture, food security and environment for a number of years and is the representative for the Quaker International Affairs Programme (QIAP), Ottawa, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / General