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Latha Jishnu: Seeds of trouble

The top-10 agricultural biotech firms in developed nations control 67% of the global proprietary seed market

Who is afraid of the multinational seed giants? Practically everyone, it seems, barring governments. The more enlightened agricultural scientists, the legion of activists, small farmers and plant breeders across the world have all been worried by the fast dwindling biodiversity and consolidation of the global seed trade through patenting. Now, the UN has joined the chorus of concern but unfortunately its notes, perhaps because it was distant and bass, or probably because it was jarring, have not resounded here. Last week, the debate on intellectual property rights (IPR) on seeds became more ...