JD Baker

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Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Work: Medical anthropology; ethnobiology; human nutrition and health; infectious disease
Favourite Publications: Social Science and Medicine Social Studies of Science Medical Anthropology Quarterly

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Research Cooperative
16/10/10 08:20:30PM @chief-admin:
Dear JD,Food supplements hot the TV headlines today in a story about the COP 10 meeting in Kyoto... an example was given of a company (here in Japan, I think) patenting a technique to extract the essential ingredient of a plant used by local people in Brazil... an ingredient now widely used in food supplements apparently. Even though the company has tried to give support to the source community, and has given them access to the patented extraction method, the claims for compensation continue.Local communities around the world have discovered new uses and methods for plants original discovered by other people, but they have not traditionally claimed exclusive rights over the new uses. The fact that modern companies are able to claim exclusive rights seems to be creating a climate of fear around the whole process of innovation by humans.The ultimate bad patent would be one claiming a patent on the use of the human brain to invent new things. I can see a B-Grade sci fi movie on the horizon here. Or are we in fact living in a B-Grade sci-fi movie?P.