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 addition.
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, e.g. WTO. 

Agricultural research

"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. 

Agricultural biotechnology

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 Advice (SBSTTA). 
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.


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