Stone on Biopiracy

The Indian government is preparing charges against Monsanto, the US-based agricultural company that specialises in biotechnology, for appropriating indigenous farming techniques and knowledge to develop a genetically altered eggplant.

Although the company has denied accusations of what has been termed “biopiracy,” the case could set a precedent for the future of global patent laws.

Activists also argue that patenting crop-breeding techniques has economic, ecological and ethical implications. Currently, five biotech corporations account for 77 percent of patents on living organisms.

In this episode of The Stream, Aljazeera speaks with Glenn Stone (@glenndavisstone), professor of anthropology and environmental studies at Washington University in St. Louis and Leo Saldanha (@leofsaldanha) of the Environment Support Group, an Indian NGO that has been calling on the government to press charges against Monsanto.