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Global rules, patent power and our food future:
controlling the food system in the 21st century

Geoff Tansey


The rules affecting our food future have been rewritten since the early 1990s, often in remote international bodies. This paper briefly outlines the nature of today's food system, discusses some of these rules and focuses on the dynamics of rule making in the World Trade Organisation, in particular around patent, plant variety protection, trademark, copyright and other forms of 'intellectual property' and their impact on our food future. It draws on work with negotiators dealing with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) in WTO and its role in globalisation. JEL: L66, Q16 Keywords: Intellectual property rights regimes, WTO, patents, biotechnology

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).