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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People Before Profit
'Deftly argued but fundamentally flawed' better applies to the review of that name than this excellent book. In Biopiracy, Vandana Shiva lifts the lid on the west's exploitation of both the natural world and people of less developed nations in order to prop up its own consumerist version of progress. I don't get at all that Shiva is arguing against patents or those who...
Published on 6 Aug. 2011 by Andy Kokuu McLellan

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6 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deftly argued, but fundamentally flawed
Shiva argues for a "collective intellectual property right", i.e., a state ownership, of any chemical or drug derived from a plant or organism found in a given country. She uses all the right code words designed to raise the hackles of rightousness- words like "racism" and "exploitation" and "diversity"- to in effect argue that...
Published on 5 Feb. 1999


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People Before Profit, 6 Aug. 2011
'Deftly argued but fundamentally flawed' better applies to the review of that name than this excellent book. In Biopiracy, Vandana Shiva lifts the lid on the west's exploitation of both the natural world and people of less developed nations in order to prop up its own consumerist version of progress. I don't get at all that Shiva is arguing against patents or those who develop novel foods or crops being able to to reap rewards from that. What she is drawing attention to, is how those countries which don't have a well developed sense of intellectual property rights are being mined by those which do; primarily America. The genetic make up of people is being taken against their knowledge under the pretext of vaccination schemes or research into illness, to benefit pharmaceutical and health organisations. The molecular structure of crops which have been selected for generations by farmers in arid region can also be studied back in the lab and patented for sale back to the same farmers in the form of F1 seeds which cannot be saved in the traditional way for planting the next year but instead must be bought annually.
The basis of the argument here is that all the benefits of this biological research in developing countries are taken by the west and not shared back with the places which the knowledge came from as people in less developed nations do not know the value of their knowledge and natural resources, and are naive in the way that these can be exploited and even used against them for further mining of profit. If the profit and knowledge gained from natural and human wealth was used to benefit all of humanity rather than a few multinational corporations I suspect that Vandana Shiva would not have such a problem with the huge rise in patenting of genes and crops. And neither would I.
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5.0 out of 5 stars We need to know!, 26 July 2013
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Not a new book but little has changed and we need to change to ensure our future. I love Vandana's passion and her fight continues.
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6 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deftly argued, but fundamentally flawed, 5 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
Shiva argues for a "collective intellectual property right", i.e., a state ownership, of any chemical or drug derived from a plant or organism found in a given country. She uses all the right code words designed to raise the hackles of rightousness- words like "racism" and "exploitation" and "diversity"- to in effect argue that people who live in a region- or rather, their rulers- own any and all possible profits that might arise from the use of a natural resource, whether or not they themselves choose to exploit it.
This is an economically naiive argument that doesn't understand that a resource isn't a resource if no one is using it. The book is basically framed as an argument for wealth transfer to the third world, as if that was the only source in the world of useful resources.
In the end, Shiva is arguing against the very system that allowed the exploitation of natural resources for use by humans. If we had to peel the bark from a tree every time we had a headache, we'd go through a lot of trees- and those in colder climates would be out of luck. But Bayer's asprin patent eventually allowed people the world over to buy the synthetic equivalent for pennies.
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Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature & Knowledge
Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature & Knowledge by Vandana Shiva (Paperback - 1 Aug. 2011)
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