Biologists raise alarm over changes to biopiracy rules

06 July 2018  Vol 361, Issue 6397

Biologists raise alarm over changes to biopiracy rules
By Kai Kupferschmidt
Science06 Jul 2018 : 14 Restricted Access
Plan would bring genetic sequences under Nagoya Protocol
European scientists are warning that a push to include “digital sequence information” in an international agreement against biopiracy could stifle research, hamper the fight against disease outbreaks, and even jeopardize food safety. Adopted in 2010, the Nagoya Protocol is an international legal framework organizing access to countries’ genetic resources and the sharing of benefits that come out of such research. The agreement has usually been applied to physical samples, but a meeting in Egypt in November could extend it to cover digital sequence information, as well. Researchers fear that more red tape will hamper their research, while others argue that the inclusion is necessary to prevent biopiracy.