sábado, septiembre 24, 2005

India's Biotech Dreams

Dr. Vandana Shiva condemns India’s New Biotechnology Development Strategy

India has emerged as a major global player in the outsourcing of information technology (IT) related activities from the developed world. Now, its New Biotechnology Development Strategy (“India’s biotech future”, accompanying article) is proposing an outsourcing of biotechnology related activities. It states in no uncertain terms: “Biotech can deliver the next wave of technological change that can be as radical and even more pervasive than that brought about by IT.”

There is however a major difference between IT and biotechnology. The latter deals with the manipulation of life forms at the genetic level through genetic engineering (and at the atomic level when combined with nanotechnology). The engineering of life is inherently linked to ecological and health risks. Outsourcing biotechnology is therefore the outsourcing of risk; and this is clearly admitted in the introduction:

“The Indian Biotechnology sector is gaining global visibility and is being tracked for emerging investment opportunities. Human capital is perceived to be the key driver for global competitiveness. Added to this is a decreasing appetite for risk capital in developed countries, which has led to a decline in the biotechnology sector in these regions where survival lifelines are being provided by the lower cost research environs of the developing world such as India.”

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