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Battle is on to stop the world nicking SA’s plants


Battle is on to stop the world nicking SA’s plants

Rich nations want free access to our plant genomes, but we aren’t going to give up without a fight

Senior reporter

A tug-of-war over the genetic codes of the world’s plants and crops has prompted warnings of possible plundering of SA’s treasure trove of natural resources.

SA biodiversity experts have returned from Rome after deadlocked negotiations in November over how to share the benefits of digitisation of plants and crops linked to food and agriculture.

SA and Australia are the only countries with their own endemic floral kingdoms – in SA’s case, the Cape fynbos biome. Medicinal plants with scientific value include buchu, aloe, hoodia and sutherlandia...

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