SEEDS OF CONFLICT

CRITICS SAY A U.S. COMPANY'S PATENT ON A PESTICIDE FROM AN INDIAN TREE IS GENETIC COLONIALISM

To hear its critics talk, W.R. Grace & Co., based in Boca Raton, Florida, is nothing less than a den of international pirates. Its crime: patenting a pesticide made from seeds of the Indian neem tree. "Genetic colonialism," thunders the self-proclaimed scientific watchdog Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, who is leading a coalition of 200 scientific, academic and farm organizations from 37 countries that filed a petition last week to have the patent revoked. Not only is Grace's pesticide based on an ancient and widely known extraction process, the coalition claims, but it will force Indian farmers...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!