Information on Biotechnology
on the Internet
In recent years the dissemination of information on biotechnology has
undergone a remarkable shift towards electronic media. Consequently, many
publications, services and institutions that are engaged in topics which
interest the readers of the Monitor have entered the internet. However,
in large parts of the world the accountability to this electronic service
is still hampered by the lack of telecommunications infrastructure. For
this reason, electronic information on biotechnology and development issues
cannot substitute traditional resources but has to be seen as a useful
Given the increasing amount of information available on-line, compiling
a comprehensive list of relevant internet sites has become almost
impossible. Therefore the Monitor has decided to compile a small excerpt
out of the mass of information that is grouped around a selected number
of topics: intellectual property rights, agricultural research, biodiversity,
biosafety and agricultural biotechnology.
Starting in April 1998, the Biotechnology and Development Monitor will
be available on the internet under the URL-number: http://www.biotech-monitor.nl/monitor
Intellectual property rights
|The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is a nonprofit
research and education organization. Its website provides access to the
institute’ s key topics of interest, i.e. sustainable agriculture and food
resources, intellectual property right (IPR) issues and trade related
topics such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and
World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. A special website is
dedicated to the evaluation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1999.
|The International Trade Law Monitor is brought on the internet
by the Law Faculty of the University of Tromsø, Norway. It has a
comprehensive list of all treaties that deal with trade regulation
and intellectual property protection and links to the respective institutions,
|"News in Bioethics and Biotechnology" contains the combined bimonthly
news from Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics and
the Eubios Ethics Institute Newsletter. 300 to 500 journals
are reviewed covering agricultural as well as medical applications of biotechnology.
|Homepage of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) with links to their sixteen research centres. The
site gives information on staff, sponsors and inter-center activities.
|The International Service for National Agricultural Research
(ISNAR) compiles a worldwide directory of organizations and universities
working in agricultural research that have a home page on the Web.
|RTD International Cooperation (INCO) belongs to the Directorate-General
XII (Science, Research & Development) of the European Commission. INCO’
s internet page informs about funded research & development cooperations
between EU-members and developing countries in the following fields: sustainable
improvement of agricultural and agro-industrial production, sustainable
improvement of agricultural and agro-industrial production and health.
|The Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) at the National
Agricultural Library of the US Department of Agriculture provides access
to information services and publications covering many aspects of agricultural
biotechnology, such as economic implications, patenting and transgenic
crops. It also provides many links to related sites.
|Biotechnology and scientific service homepage of the US Department
of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
The web site gives a view on the current status of the regulation
as well as a list of applications for the release of GMOs in the USA.
|The secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
gives information about the implementation of the CBD. It tackles specific
issues such as biosafety protocol and finance mechanisms as well as ongoing
activities of the Conference of Parties (COP) and subcommittees
such as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical, and Technological
|The Working Group on Traditional Resource Rights (WGTRR), affiliated
with University of Oxford, established a base for information, research
and publicity regarding indigenous peoples and local communities’
knowledge. The Programme for Traditional Resource Rights is dedicated to
furthering the rights of all ‘indigenous and local communities embodying
traditional lifestyles’ as identified in the Preamble to the
Convention on Biological Diversity. This website covers the range of activities
that are trying to strengthen this concept within international treaties
such as WTO/TRIPs and the CBD.
|The North American Rural Advancement Foundation International
(RAFI) provides an electronic version of the RAFI Communiqué and
other publications with information on biodiversity, sustainable agriculture
and patenting issues. It also links to RAFI’ s unofficial CGIAR External
Review website (http://cgiar.rafi.org/).
|The website of the System-wide Information Network for Genetic Resources
(SINGER) provides common access to the genetic resources databases of the
CGIAR centres. Via a search menu, specific information relating to the
identity, origin, characteristics and distribution of the genetic resources
in the collections of individual CG centres are made available. The site
also contains a good list of links related to genetic resources.
|The BIOSCI list is a set of electronic communication forums,
the bionet USENET newsgroups and parallel e-mail lists, used by biological
scientists worldwide. It includes an archive of biological journals and
a search engine to retrieve references.
|BioTrack Online, the website of OECD’ s Programme on the
Harmonization of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology provides information
on regulatory developments and field trials on GMOs in member countries.
Links to other biotechnology-websites of the OECD (http://www.oecd.org/ehs/icgb/index.htm).
|The Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS)
is a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO). BINAS provides on-line access to biosafety-documents from international
organizations and from a range of developing and industrialized countries
including guidelines and laws regulating biotechnology research and development.
Contributions to the Biotechnology and Development Monitor are not
covered by any copyright. Exerpts may be translated or reproduced without
prior permission (with exception of parts reproduced from third sources),
with acknowledgement of source.