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As an alternative to Northern-style IPRs, GRAIN argues for a local community rights regime based on Heritage, Territoriality and Communality, which would be constructed into both the Biodiversity Convention and the FAO Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources.

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The late potato blight, P. infestans, which was responsible for the Great Irish Famine last century, is back in a deadlier form and many fear that the short-sightness of breeders and governments may jeopardise the food security of the millions of Third World families for whom potatoes are an important staple crop.

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THE HIDDEN HARVEST

GRAIN | 15 October 1995 | Seedling - October 1995

Until recently ignored by contemporary agricultural research, most of the world's rural population benefits from a "Hidden Harvest" of wild foods that constitutes an important nutritional and income source, and often makes the difference for survival in famine situations.

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The industrialisation of fishing puts ever-growing pressure on marine ecosystems and the diversity they contain, and small-scale fishing communities and the poor are paying the price. Civil society must gain democratic control over these resources.

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A Swiss herb growers group has won an important court case: in a landmark decision that tested new policies to allow patenting of plants as such, the Federal Supreme Court decided that a camomile variety may not be patented.

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DIVERSITY, A FEMININE NOUN

Angela Cordeiro | 15 July 1995 | Seedling - July 1995

The diversity of agricultural systems is a fundamental step in fighting rural hunger and conserving genetic resources, and farm women are key players in any such strategy, according to field studies in Brazil.

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EDITORIAL

GRAIN | 25 March 1995 | Seedling - March 1995

A viewpoint on the European Parliament's historic rejection of the life patenting directive last 1 March.

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The European Parliament stopped a law proposal that would have made life patenting possible in Europe. We look at the background, the history and the implications.

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BIODIVERSITY SELL-OUT IN THE ANDEAN PACT?

Germán Vélez and GRAIN | 15 March 1995 | Seedling - March 1995

Some Andean Pact countries seem to be willing to hand over their biodiversity cheaply. Others are arguing for more control over access. NGOs fight for rights to local and indigenous communities.

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The IARCs are in a financial and institutional crisis and a meeting was called to relaunch the system, with little success. NGOs call for a consultation process.

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