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The scramble to patent traditional knowledge should be halted

The WTO can put in place a policy that aids "indigenous countries" by making traditional knowledge a recognised form of knowledge in patent law.

Indians use more than 7,500 species of plants for traditional purposes, whose economic value in the herbal medicine and pharmaceutical sector is immense. As Indian agriculture is rich in biodiversity, it becomes an easy prey of biopiracy by agriculture-based business corporations.

THERE are growing worries about American "cultural imperialism" and piracy of Indian traditional knowledge such as neem, turmeric and basmati rice through US patent laws that do not adequately protect such intellectual property.

Recent research articles are shining new light on American "...

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