This is one of several pieces in Nathaneal Johnson’s ongoing re-examination of GMO technology at Grist. Links to his previous stories can be found in Additional Resources below. This week Johnson examines the intellectual property rights and the persistent idea that Monsanto and other big corporations have a monopoly on biotech and research. An excerpt:
You may have heard that companies place draconian licensing agreements on their genetically engineered seeds. In the same way that using software presumes you accept a raft of terms and conditions, using GM seeds generally means that you’re bound by a complex contract [PDF]. Scientists have said that these patent restrictions keep them from accurately testing GE seeds. However, the biotech companies claim that they cooperate with independent scientists and support objective research. So where’s the truth here?
There’s no one answer. The answer varies by company and by specific policy, but some of the details in Johnson’s report — like Monsanto’s blanket agreement to allow research at all universities in the US — may be surprising.
Read the full, original story here: Genetically modified seed research: What’s locked and what isn’t
The Johnson-Grist series:
- The genetically modified food debate: Where do we begin?
- The GM safety dance: What’s rule and what’s real
- Genetic engineering vs. natural breeding: What’s the difference?
- Is nature a cradle or a battlefield?
- Genetically engineered food: Allergic to regulations?
GLP executive director Jon Entine’s response the Grist series:
- “Call to action: Grist reevaluates crop biotechnology; It’s time the rest of journalism does too,” Genetic Literacy Project