Seeds Regulation, Food Security and Sustainable Development

Seeds Regulation, Food Security and Sustainable Development

Economic & Political Weekly, 6 August 2005

Thus far, debates relating to the adoption of the proposed amendments to the Patents Act 1970 have focused overwhelmingly on its consequences for the pharmaceutical sector. However, the Act is only one among several other legal instruments expected to have a significant impact on the future development of agriculture. This article argues for the widening of the patents debate to include agriculture, which under the current WTO regime, is now bound to its regulations relating to trade and intellectual property. It also looks at several legal instruments, already in place or in the offing, examining them together in the light of the linkages and overlaps between them. At the same time, these instruments need to be examined in context of the international framework, for increasingly, international treaties and conventions have come to exercise some influence at the national level.

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