Published: Thursday 31 May 2001

-- Genetic resources or biological materials derived from plants and animals remain the the basis for improvement of agricultural crops and for medicines for 75 per cent of the world's population. The biotechnology industry has harnessed living organisms to produce a variety of products, such as medicines and cosmetics. More controversially, genetically modified organsims have found use in healthcare and agriculture. It's a high volume trade taking place across countries. While private corporations and industrialised countries make millions, real owners and protectors of the resources -- local communities -- are left out of the benefit-sharing

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