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Gill, Bernhard (2009): Property Claims in GM and Non-GM crops. Intellectual Property Rights versus Brand Property Rights in Postindustrial Knowledge Societies. In: International journal of agricultural resources, governance and ecology, Vol. 8, No. 1: pp. 14-36 [PDF, 282kB]


Conceptualising the ongoing conflict over GM versus non-GM crops in the frame of property rights one can see that economic valorisation dynamics and aspirations are working on both sides, within two differently evolving agri-food paradigms, with biotechnology companies propagating intellectual property rights on seeds and crops within a productivist strategy, and with retailer chains, NGOs, farmer associations claiming generic names and labels as public property rights on identity preserved crops within a consumerist strategy. The analysis shows that the direction and strength of the dynamics depends much on the physical intricacies and the social relations which are implicated in these two types of intangible property. As the development of the intangible property rights lies at the heart of postindustrial knowledge economies, the study of the GM conflict is also instructive for understanding social change in the agri-food sector and in the society more generally.

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