Global Food Security: Genetically Modified Organisms, Environmental Policy and Intellectual Property Rights

Written By Reid Barry

Awarded 2nd Place in JATL's Law and Technology Essay Competition



Food is not only a basic necessity of life, but a time capsule of a region’s cultural past and present. One only needs to briefly set foot in a foreign country before another exclaims that the national dish must be sampled. Indeed, food is so much more than energy used to fuel our bodies. It transcends deep into our global society to identify cultures, and has the amazing ability to be shared throughout the world. However, with the availability of agricultural land coming at a premium,[1] the global population set to exponentially increase,[2] and food production yields beginning to peak at their maximums,[3] the future of humanity’s food security is under threat. Further worsening the situation are the effects of global climate change, water scarcity, and the increased regulation of agricultural chemicals used to aid crop production. Will we be looking at a future where food loses its cultural value and is simply regarded as mere human fuel?

While this outcome may seem bleak, humanity has risen to tackle this challenge once before. From 1965-1980, a significant push in scientific research provided relief for global food security. Crop yields were maximised following advancements in plant breeding, improved fertilisers, more effective pesticides, and better farm management practices and irrigation.[4] Termed the Green Revolution, this surge in scientific innovation had struck at the heart of the fight for securing global food dependence. Society was not able to rest long however, following criticisms of the use of particular pesticides and chemicals on the environment, and with agricultural yields slowing to a steady equilibrium, policy makers and scientists had to rethink the battle for global food security.[5]

This period during the 1980’s and 1990’s coincided with great advancements in genetic technologies. The combination of a system to isolate and amplify genetic material created in 1983,[6] combined with the first automated genetic sequencing technique in 1986[7] lead to a race to sequence the first whole genomes of viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. The era of genetic science had arrived.[8] With it came a solution to securing global food production. The genetic sequencing of prize crops such as rice and wheat, and the isolation of their functional genes, led the way for the genetic modification of these commodities. These so called ‘genetically modified organism’ (GMOs) have revolutionised the biotechnology and agricultural industries. Scientists have been able to isolate genes in agrarian commodities and enhance advantageous traits. An example of this being the amplification of the growth hormone gene in salmon, giving them the ability to grow to a mature size three times faster and with significantly less resource expenditure than their wildtype counterparts.[9] Beneficial characteristics from foreign organisms are also able to be incorporated into commodities. This means that theoretically the frost tolerate gene of the Atlantic salmon can be inserted into a tomato plant to produce a frost resistance tomato variety.[10] Another real world example is the creation of GoldenRice™, a rice variety with a gene expressing the production of vitamin A. Such technology has allowed the vitamin A deficient nations (mainly within South-East Asia) to supply their population with a scientific solution to address their hunger and nutrition issues.[11]

Of course, behind most world-changing scientific inventions, is a complex network of intellectual property rights. Indeed, it is difficult to pick up an environmental text without some discussion concerning the interplay and ramifications of intellectual property on environmental policy.[12] Take for instance the scientific development that created the transgenic GoldenRice™ variety. Approximately 70 patents were used in its research alone.[13] Thus, to combat environmental issues, it also seems that scientists need to also battle a maze of legal formalities. This may all seem well for wealthy and research intensive nations. However, how do the less prosperous nations fair in this battle? Africa, the poorest continent in the world, remains trapped in this dilemma. Heavily reliant on agriculture to provide an export revenue stream, African nations face the toughest challenges posed by GMO intellectual property rights.[14] While their agricultural industry provides upwards of 50% of some African nation’s export revenue, they are still faced with widespread food insecurity. Crippling poverty and weak trade relations play a part in this predicament.[15] Scientific advancement in agribusiness and a strengthening of internal markets and trade associations may help these nations break free from this cycle.

Therefore, GMOs are expected to be the new wave of technology to sweep in and address the issue of global food insecurity. It is expected that GMOs will produce disease resistant crops, require less pesticide and chemical treatment, lessen the environmental footprint of agriculture, require less resource input (such as fertiliser, feed and land), boost agricultural yield, enhance nutritional value and produce less waste.[16] Such scientific techniques have however come under significant scrutiny. The public, governments, jurists, economists and fellow scientists have joined the debate regarding GMOs and their effect on the environment, public health, and economic development of nations.[17] The discussion of genetic engineering has thus become a tainted topic.

This essay will outline the concerns regarding the rise of genetic engineering to combat food security in developing nations. This will focus on the socio-economic impacts encountered by genetic intellectual property rights. A discussion regarding the environmental impact and human health risks that GMOs pose will be left out of this debate. The essay will then investigate the regulations and conventions that govern GMOs at the international and regional levels of the European Union and African Union. Concluding the analysis of these structures, a discussion will be conducted detailing possible solutions concerning GMO regulation in the fight to combat global food insecurity. The author hopes that this article is able to highlight the significance of the problem of global food insecurity, and possible action that should be taken to help resolve some of its issues.

It must be noted that this essay is limited to a North-South perspective on trade between the European Union and African Union. It has focussed on this two regions as a whole, and attempts not to dissect national policies or agendas. It also does not delve into any issues regarding GMO labelling, co-existence of GM and conventional crops, or the release of transgenic products within territories.

As for the materials utilised during its research and construction, this essay relies primarily on published academic literature, mostly legal textbooks and articles. Reference is also made to the websites and reports of relevant international and regional organisations and conventions, in an attempt to keep the research material as up to date as possible. Some scientific papers have also been reviewed, to provide the appropriate background knowledge that comes with an area as perplexing as genetic science.


The Debate Regarding GMOs


Genetically modified organisms within the realm of agricultural production present a number of challenging issues. These issues can be distilled into three primary headings; environmental impacts, human health impacts, and socio-economic impacts. While there is great concern as to the environmental and health impacts of GM agriculture and food, they will not be detailed in this article. Instead, the socio-economic challenges of GMOs on developing nations will be pursued.


Socio-Economic Impacts:

This area of concern arose following the ideation of a possible corporate takeover of the food production chain. Through the use of patent law and intellectual property protection, “[t]here is growing fear of the use (or abuse) of intellectual property rights by biotech companies. This fear emanates from the possible monopolisation of genetic resources, which might lead to market monopolisation and creation of dependency on these few companies.”[18] Such a scenario greatly affects developing countries. In fact, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (discussed below) “has been criticised as being favouring [toward] developed nations and disadvantaging developing nations. This is because it encourages strong IP protection, an issue that benefits developed nations since the majority of patents are produced in these countries.”[19]

Therefore, IP innovation and its link to GMOs has the potential to cause concern for developing African nations. Dependence on the GM products, the increased cost of having to manage a GM farm, inflation of licensing fees, and ‘terminator technologies’ that require a farmer to purchase seed from GM suppliers annually have the potential to drive small scale farmers out of the game.[20]

This has lead Professor Olivier De Schutter to state that “the current intellectual property rights regime is suboptimal to ensure global food security today. It is unfit to promote the kind of innovation we need to cope with climate change”. [21] He added that the “United Nations General Assembly needs to develop seed policies that encourage innovation, promote food security, and enhance agro-biodiversity at the same time. He also recommended that there is need to ensure that seed policies respect, protect, and fulfil the right to food of the most vulnerable groups.”


Current Environmental Policy Regarding GMOs


International Agreements:

There is a minefield of international regulatory structure that governs the production, trade and intellectual property protection of genetically modified products. Distilled below are the most applicable regimes. They cover a broad range from international treaties, specific organisational structures and soft law principles.

The leading international agreement on biotechnology is currently the Cartagena Protocol.[23] The agreement was adopted in 2000 following discussions within the framework of the Convention of Biological Diversity.[24] It regards the protection of biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms and modern biotechnology, particularly through the movement of GMOs between nations.[25] The core of the agreement gives government agencies access to information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the importation of living modified organisms. To assist in the exchange of information between nations, the ‘Biosafety Clearing-House’ was created. This structure allows members to add to a database the latest scientific research and information relevant to genetically modified organisms, biotechnology and the protection of the environment.[26] There is a reflection of the ‘precautionary approach’, as seen within Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, echoed within the protocol as well.[27] Importantly, the Cartagena Protocol provides in Article 26 the right for nations to take into account socio-economic considerations arising from the impact of living modified organisms on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. This is important for developing nations, as will be discussed below. This position on socio-economic consideration draws similarities to the ‘sustainable development’ goals negotiated within the Rio Declaration.[28] This exemplifies the interconnected and harmonised nature of the current international agreements regarding environmental protection. Compliance with the protocol is handled through a compliance committee that meets annually to monitor government activity within the confines of the protocol. While the compliance procedures are quite comprehensive, there is limited enforcement power within the Cartagena Protocol.[29]

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) also has a hand in regulating the flow of transgenic material across borders. Specific regulations affecting GMOs include; the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement),[30] which has been seen as a step forward in the autonomy of States allowing them to restrict imports of modified organisms based on health reasons; the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that apply to the trade of goods that fundamentally affect national transgenic policies and implementation; and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) that deals with technical regulations, standards (such as labelling requirements), and conformity assessment of trade related goods.[31] Given the inherent commercial nature of GMOs, they are regulated strictly by the WTO. An important trade related document affecting intellectual property, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), handles the patentability of trade related GM products under the auspices of the WTO and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).[32]

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) administers the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (The Seed Treaty), which has important implications on seed exchange and the conservation of genetic diversity of plants, whilst also promoting the research and development of climate-smart agriculture to combat climate change and global food security. There are also provisions detailing principles of sustainable use and farmer’s rights, which have a positive influence on developing nations.[33]

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has an indirect and soft effect on GMO regulation.[34] They are frequently invited to write reports and recommendations on the regulation of GMOs, thus implementing policy controlling the use and trade of such substances. The Aarhus Convention[35] further holds that when assessing the risk and regulation of GMOs, there must be consideration for the public access to information, procedures in public participation in decision-making, and access to justice.[36] While their influence is not the paramount concern regulating transgenic products, their impact is not significant, and is worthy of mention.

Therefore, when you step back to look at the various conventions and organisations that control genetically modified products, their international trade and their intellectual property protection, it is apparent that the area is governed by main specific bodies, with smaller supplementary agreements and guidance interspersed to link them.


European Union Regulation:

The European Union (EU) has grappled with the concept of GMOs for some time. In an attempt to harmonise and control the regulation of GMOs (and to remove it from the auspices of nationalistic policies and debate) the EU has taken most of the power away from States to regulate and restrict the import of GMOs into their territory.[37] A recent EU legislative push to grant member States the right to regulate the import of GM products was recently quashed in 2015.[38] States have however retained the ability to implement nation law regarding the adoption and cultivation of crops within their territories.[39] Thus, a conclusion can be drawn that the EU is more concerned with the import of GM products, rather than their export.

To move to the intellectual property component of GMOs, the EU has implemented the European Patent Convention. This committee largely has adopted the international regimes on intellectual property rights regarding GMOs. They include the TRIPS Agreement and FAO Seed Treaty. This is not surprising, as a core principle within the World Intellectual Property Organisation states that they have an obligation to ensure international patent and intellectual property harmonisation.[40] Thus, the EU adoption of these international frameworks check the box of the WIPO obligation.


African Union Regulation:

Much the same as the EU, the African Union (AU) have also implemented policies within the framework of the international agreements. Thus, the Cartagena Protocol, the WTO related agreements such as the TRIPS Agreement, SPS Agreement, GATT, and TBT Agreement, the conditions imposed by the WIPO as well as The Seed Treaty all affect the African Union in much the same way as the European Union. The EU is the most influential and significant trading partner of the AU, hence why an analysis of EU regulations was conducted above.[41]

One notable addition however, is the African Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology.[42] The African Model Laws were adopted to combat the lack of national regulation within the AU regarding biotechnology safety. This has been explained by the AU’s lack of acceptance of GM technologies. Many nations have been slow to adopt biotechnology within their agricultural systems, and others that have accepted biotechnology have done so hesitantly. Of the 54 African Union nations, only three had implemented commercial GM agricultural technologies by 2012 (Burkina Faso, South Africa and Sudan), with another five only allowing field trials of such technologies (Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda).[43] The model laws thus created a link to the EU biotechnology framework, and developed a structure to be implemented within national biosafety regulations. This system has however been criticised for its extreme interpretation of the precautionary principle and emphasis on non-science policy. GM technology proponents have argued that this has caused a de facto regulatory ban on GM products in Africa.[44] GMO adoption as a means to combat global food security issues in Africa, have thus been stalled by the social and political denial of agri-biotech, and the regressive frameworks that are placed on African nations by the Cartagena Protocol and the African Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology.[45]


The Possible Solutions to GMO Acceptance and Achieving Global Food Security


This essay has currently outlined the debate regarding genetically modified organisms, flaws within intellectual property ownership of transgenic inventions, and detailed the current international and regional regulations governing biotechnology in Europe and Africa. The question still remains, how can we better regulate GMOs to combat the current food security crisis? Note here that this essay assumes that GMOs, when developed, tested and utilised correctly, can contribute to the strengthening of agricultural endeavours. So, the question is not ‘how can GMOs help global food security’, but rather ‘how can GMO policy and regulation help global food security’. Three recommendations are outlines below.


Public Education and Awareness of GMOs

While this solution sounds simple, it has perplexed scientists and policy makers since the dawn of genetic engineering. The tainted nature of the field surrounding GMOs has led to a fear among public citizens regarding the science. Genetic modification is regarded by some groups as an ‘unnatural’ and ‘immoral’ scientific practice. A lack of understanding regarding the patent system and corporate ownership of GMO intellectual property rights, has also swayed the public acceptance of GMOs toward a hesitant position. The solution needed is a push by scientists and government agencies to educate the public on the issues relevant to transgenic agriculture. Put succinctly by Salah Mahgoub:

“There is a need to view the issue of GM technology and its application to produce foods from both sides. It would be more helpful and beneficial to consumers to get a clear picture of the actual and potential benefits of GM product innovations, as well as knowledge of possible undesirable consequences. In addition, full comprehension of the functions and roles of public and private research institutions and bodies, the local and international regulations and intellectual property rights that govern the technology are needed to help in easing and possibly ending the dispute and controversy around GM technology and GM foods.”[46]

Furthermore, with a fully informed public having an appreciation for the benefits and risks involved in releasing GM agriculture, they will be better able to utilise the public participation and consideration principles within the Cartagena Protocol, Aarhus Convention and African Model Laws. This would assist policy makers to freely regulate biotechnology, allowing society to feel the full benefit of the technology, rather than hindering it through strict rules. This would be especially advantageous within the developing nations of Africa. Research has shown that government engagement and advocacy of scientific policies increases public awareness and appreciation for those sciences.[47] Therefore, the first step to effectively regulating GMOs to fight food insecurity, is to fully inform the world about the benefits and the risks of GM agriculture.


The Scientific Approach to the Assessment of Risk in GMOs:

This solution lies in the method policy makers and legislators view risks regarding genetically modified organisms. Current systems are heavily reliant on precaution. The Cartagena Protocol and African Model Law depend heavily on their interpretation of the ‘precautionary principle’. Thus, risk assessments conducted under such schemes are bound to view scientific uncertainty unfavourably.[48] The system would rather take no risk at all, than to chance an unknown or indeterminate consequence. The inherent uncertainty within the rapidly advancing field of genetic engineering adds to stagnant policy making.[49] Combined with the current public confusion regarding GMOs, and the public participation policies that must take into consideration this confusion, it makes the science surrounding genetic modification additionally ambiguous.

A departure is needed from this assessment technique. Thus, it is proposed that politicians move away from politically charged valuations to more pragmatic and scientific assessments. This would enable GMO policy to look away from ‘emotional public reactions’ to more rational decision making.[50] Thus, risk assessments would look to the hard scientific facts, weigh them up against each other, and return with the most beneficial and appropriate manner to proceed. In essence, the scientific assessment model will inherently be based on a utilitarian perspective of transgenic agricultural risk. It would consider the pros and cons of each scenario, and choose the one with the most social utility or ‘best interest’ for society. This perspective also allows African nations to have better regard to their socio-economic and sustainable development considerations within the Cartagena Protocol and African Model Law. An improvement in these key areas will assist in lifting those nations out of the poverty trap, with a flow on effect to promote their food security status.

A downside to this system, is that it avoids public opinion and participation, a core obligation within the Aarhus Convention. To counter this, the public would need to learn to trust the scientific assessment model. They would need to understand that it aims to protect the best interests of society. Another criticism asks the question about who will conduct the scientific assessments, and how will they apportion interests to society. To this query, there is no clear-cut answer. However, with the rapid development in genetic and environmental sciences, it is hoped that all assessments will return with a significant degree of consistency and certainty, thus clear decisions can be made on scientific fact.

This scheme would also allow a criticism of the ‘precautionary principle’. This criticism being, that the current principle deals only with unknown risks. It fails to address real and certain risks. Therefore, should we refocus the precautionary approach on the hard science that global climate change and food insecurity is real? Should we be taking precautions on these issues now, seeing as the scientific evidence suggests that both are pertinent issues?

To conclude this second solution, society must place its trust in the factions of science. We should let the science speak. If these steps based on science are not taken, policy will simply flounder about, caught in a vast cosmos of policy where it will frill around the edges of GMO regulation, solving only small pieces of the problem at a time, without hard-headedly steaming ahead with a solution.


Transition from Corporate Intellectual Property Rights to Cooperative Intellectual Property Rights:

To address the issue of privatisation and monopolisation of GMO technology, we must attempt to boost participation and funding of public sector laboratories and research. The aim is simple. Move IP ownership from the major conglomerates that inundate the agri-biotechnology market, to parties that will use IP rights for societal benefit. While such an idea seems outrageous and impossible, it has been done before. In 2003, following thirteen years of research at a cost of US $2.7 billion, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium announced the completion of the Human Genome Project, a global scientific effort that mapped the three billion base pairs that comprise the human genome.[51] This public consortium defeated other commercially-oriented rivals hoping to profit from patenting and licensing the work, thus ensuring the human genome is freely accessible to the global population. This global movement exemplifies how scientific effort and intellectual property rights can be used as a basis for humanitarian endeavours and acts of public good.

Therefore, governments and the scientific community should team up to produce solutions to the world’s most perplexing issues. Global food security being near the top of that list. The longer governments and researchers sit idle, the more opportunity big corporations will have at solving this problem for us, and profiting immensely from it, to the disadvantage of smaller, developing nations. Charitable organisations as well have joined to implement a similar solution. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation have been significant proponents in the aid to solve global issues. While society should not heavily rely on these philanthropy contributions, a synergistic relationship between government, charity, and research should be strived for. Such an affiliation will push for the development of GMOs as social problem-solving tools, rather than money making investments.

This has a great flow-on effect to developing nations, as it allows them to affordably carry on trade and business. Increased economic trade and revenue can thus be established within African nations, alleviating issues with poverty, and helping to secure adequate food production. Indeed, with the correct biotechnological advances, IP regulations and trade structures, developing nations may be able to ‘grow’ themselves out of poverty whilst contributing to the security of global food production.



The interplay of genetic technologies, international trade and intellectual property is thus a melting pot of cutting-edge scientific research, with a dash of emotive public consensus, held together through international frameworks and regional regulation. With the addition of the global food security debate, jurists have had an enjoyable time assessing the options that GMO regulation presents to help solve this issue. This essay advances a no-nonsense approach to achieving food security through biotechnology regulation. Firstly, the public must be educated regarding the benefits and risks presented by transgenic products. This will assist public participation, debate and acceptance of environmental risks posed by GMOs. Secondly, environmental risk assessments should take a strict scientific approach to the adoption of GMO regulations. Such a technique will remove the emotive politics and uncertainty within the current system, thus freeing the scientific endeavour to pursue maximal social utility. Lastly, a transition is needed from the monopolising structures of commercial research to more socially-focussed public sector research. Doing so allows a beneficial construction of intellectual property rights in biotechnology, and permit scientific developments to be used as socio-economic tools. This final solution also recognises that food security is a global problem, thus it requires a global effort to decipher. This essay also raises the point that, in the fight for global food security, developed countries must lend a generous hand to developing countries. The natural environment is a mystical creature that remains unaffected by the boundaries that separate the political world. Soon, it will also be time for humanity to let go of our borders, to come together as a global community to fight global issues. We are all in this together.


[1] Salah E.O. Mahgoub, Genetically Modified Food (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015), p. 2.

[2] Ibid. The global population is expected to reach 8 billion people by the year 2020, with 9 billion expected to inhabit the planet by the year 2050.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, p. 3.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See the work of Kary Mullis on the technique of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and the isolation of the DNA polymerase enzyme (Taq Polymerase) from Thermus aquaticus.

[7] See the work of Fredrick Sanger on Sanger sequencing and fluorescent primers, and Leroy Hood’s laboratory work on the first semi-automated DNA sequencing machine. See further, Smith LM, Sanders JZ, Kaiser RJ, Hughes P, Dodd C, Connell CR, Heiner C, Kent SB, Hood LE (12 June 1986). "Fluorescence Detection in Automated DNA Sequence Analysis". Nature 321 (6071): 674–79.

[8] For a brief and simplistic history of genetic science see, Phil McLean, A History of Genetics and Genomics (2011) <> (Accessed 28 May 2016).

[9] Ahrens, Robert NM, Devlin, Robert H (2010). "Standing genetic variation and compensatory evolution in transgenic organisms: A growth-enhanced salmon simulation". Transgenic Research 20 (3): 583–97.

[10] This technique has been improved significantly by the CRISPR-Cas9 gene modification tool recently discovered in 2015. See the work of Doudna, Charpentier and Zhang.

[11] Muriel Lightbourne, Food Security, Biological Diversity and Intellectual Property Rights (Ashgate Publishing: Surrey, 2009), pp. 52-54.

[12] See Fisher, Lange & Scotford, Environmental Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), chpt. 22; Dupuy & Vinuales, International Environmental Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), chpt. 12.4.

[13] Lightbourne, above n 11, p. 53.

[14] Fikremarkos Merso Birhanu, Genetically Modified Organisms in Africa: Regulating a Threat or an Opportunity? In Bodiguel and Cardwell (eds), ‘The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches’, 2010 (Oxford University Press, New York), pp. 227-228.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Mahgoub, above n 1, chpts. 4, 6. For a comprehensive tour of the science behind GMOs, also see chapters 2 and 3.

[17] Ibid, chpts. 6, 7.

[18] Ibid, p. 14.

[19] Ibid, p. 213.

[20] Ibid, pp. 211-215, 230-231.

[21] Ibid, p. 212.

[22] Ibid.

[23] 2000 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Text available via <>.

[24] 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity. Text available via <>.

[25] See, UNEP: Convention on Biological Diversity, ‘Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: About the Protocol’ <> (Accessed 28th May 2016). The text also refers to ‘living modified organisms’ (LMOs) as opposed to ‘genetically modified organisms’ (GMOs).

[26] Ibid.

[27] See, UNEP, ‘Rio Declaration on Environment and Development’, <> (Accessed 28 May 2016). Principle 15 states that ‘[i]n order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’

[28] Duncan French, The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms and International Law: A Call for Generality’ in Bodiguel and Cardwell (eds), ‘The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches’, 2010 (Oxford University Press, New York), pp. 368-374.

[29] See, UNEP: Convention on Biological Diversity, ‘The Cartagena Protocol: What has been done on Compliance’ <> (Accessed 27 May 2016).

[30] Text available via <> (Accessed 27 May 2016).

[31] Timothy Josling, ‘A Review of WTO Rules and GMO Trade’ (2015) BioRes: Biotechnology 9(3). <> (Accessed 27th May 2016).

[32] Lightbourne, above n 11, pp. 5-6. See also, Gerald Kamstra, Marc Doring, Nick Scott-Ram, Andrew Sheard & Henry Wixon, ‘Patents on Biotechnological Inventions: The E.C. Directive’ (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2002), p. 15.

[33] See FAO: The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, ‘The Importance of the International Treaty’ <> (Accessed 24 May 2016).

[34] Lightbourne, above n 11, pp. 4-6.

[35] Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters 1998.

[36] Luc Bodiguel and Michael Cardwell, Genetically Modified Organisms and the Public: Participation, Preferences, and Protest in Bodiguel and Cardwell (eds), ‘The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches’, 2010 (Oxford University Press, New York), p. 15.

[37] Josling, above n 31.

[38] ICTSD, ‘EU Parliament Rejects National Bans for GMO Prodcuts’ (2015) BioRes: Biotechnology <> (Accessed 27 May 2016).

[39] ICTSD, ‘EU Ministers give green light to national GMO crop cultivation bans’ (2015) BioRes: Biotechnology <> (Accessed 27 May 2016).

[40] See European Patent Office, ‘The European Patent Convention’ <> (Accessed 28 May 2016).

[41] Judith A. Chambers, ‘Biosafety of GM Crops in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania: An Evolving Landscape of Regulatory Progress and Retreat’ (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) p. 6.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid, p. 5.

[44] Ibid, pp. 10-11.

[45] See further, Robert Paarlberg, ‘Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out Of Africa’ (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008).

[46] Mahgoub, above n 1, p. 6.

[47] Chambers, above n 41, pp. 15-21. For a contrary view to public awareness of science not leading to an increase in scientific acceptance see, Fisher, Lange & Scotford, above n 12, pp. 1021-1023.

[48] Karen Morrow, Genetically Modified Organisms and Risk in Bodiguel and Cardwell (eds), ‘The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches’, 2010 (Oxford University Press, New York), p. 70. See also, de Sadeleer, Environmental Principles: From Political Slogans to Legal Rules (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2002) 175.

[49] Christopher Rodgers, Implementing the Community Environmental Liability Directive: Genetically Modified Organisms and the Problem of Unknown Risk in Bodiguel and Cardwell (eds), ‘The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches’, 2010 (Oxford University Press, New York), chpt. 8.

[50] Fisher, Lange & Scotford, above n 12, p. 1050.

[51] National Institutes of Health: National Human Genome Research Institute, ‘The Human Genome Project Completion: Frequently Asked Questions’ <> (Accessed 25 May 2016).