Research Agendas and Patenting

In both human genetics and GM crops and foods, questions about the research that is conducted and how it is controlled and shaped are important for society to consider. Supporting research in one area usually means research in another will be limited because funding has to be prioritised. Allowing patents on basic research can restrict who can use the knowledge to develop new treatments or crops. Encouraging research that has commercially benefits will skew research towards areas where discoveries can be patentable, because this is what industry encourages.

GeneWatch believes there should be more public involvement in making decisions about research priorities. We also believe that patents should not be allowed on genes because they are discoveries, not inventions; that by monopolising knowledge at such a basic level research is hampered; and that research is biased towards patentable discoveries rather than being prioritised for health or sustainable food production.


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