Potential Implications of New Synthetic Biology and Genomic Research Trajectories on the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
57 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2018 Last revised: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
This scoping report focuses on the potential implications of new synthetic biology and genomic research trajectories on the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA or ‘Treaty’). Specifically, it provides an introductory examination of how the evolving technological, legal, and institutional context surrounding the exchange and use of digital sequence information (DSI) for synthetic biology and genomic research affects the principles of the Treaty, and specifically its access and benefit-sharing (ABS) framework. Seen broadly, the report addresses the phenomenon of dematerialization, which suggests that “the information and knowledge content of genetic material [could increasingly be] extracted, processed and exchanged in its own right, detached from the physical exchange of the plant genetic material” (FAO, IT/GB-5/13/4).
Keywords: synthetic biology, plant genetic resources, access and benefit sharing, digital sequence information
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