by Henry I. Miller, Drew l. Kershen
Hoover Institution
January 16, 2013
This article offers three examples of genetically engineered crops currently or potentially available thanks to some attributes of open source access: virus-resistant papaya, pod borer-resistant cowpea, and vitamin A-enhanced rice (“Golden Rice”). Although all of them have benefited from open access to biotech discoveries, to be sure, all also offer cautionary tales about the irrelevance of intellectual property rights in the face of gratuitous regulatory obstacles. The bottom line is that intellectual property protection verges on the inconsequential when agricultural biotechnology regulation is, to borrow a phrase from the novelist J.K. Rowling, a “twitching pile of catastrophe.”

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