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4-Patents: SDPI urges Pakistan government not to join UPOV

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TITLE:  SDPI urges government not to join UPOV
SOURCE: News Network International, Islamabad, Pakistan
        sent by GRAIN BIO-IPR docserver
DATE:   April 30, 1999

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SDPI urges government not to join UPOV

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has urged the government not to join Union for Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) as this may affect farmers adversely and will only give way to transnational cooperation (TNCs) who would monopolize the seed markets.  UPOV is a union of European and industrialized states formed to protect the plant breeder's rights but do not protect the growers. Instead of developing its own laws to protect farmers and breeder's rights, says an SDPI press release issued Thursday.  Pakistan is considering to join UPOV, just to be able to prove to the international community that their system is in line with the WTO requirements. The proposed Plant Breeder's [Rights] Act 1998 (PBR 1998) is almost a duplicate of UPOV, 1991 that threatens to provide TNCs an opportunity to completely dominate Pakistan's seed markets without producing the seed here in Pakistan.

Pakistan is required under WTO to put together a system to protect plant breeders rights, either through patents or through a system that allows for protection of plant breeder's rights in a way that suits the social and cultural requirements of the country known as sui generis system or a combination of both. Many Asian countries are developing their own sui generis system in order to protect both farmers and breeders rights that can help promote research efforts on the one hand, and farm productivity and bio-diversity on the other. SDPI urges the government of Pakistan to develop its own sui generis system, without joining UPOV. The new system should clearly recognize farmers and breeders rights and should also develop a system of benefit sharing, with the communities who develop the plant varieties that are used by the state institutions and TNCs in their breeding programmes. The system should also include farmers and NGO representatives in the advisory council provided for!
 in the proposed law. 


For further information please contact

Mr Shahid Zia
Sustainable Development Policy Institute
PO Box 2342
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (92-51) 27 06 74
Fax: (92-51) 27 81 35


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