19 Feb 2013

PNG concerned about illicit genetic material patenting

1:23 pm on 19 February 2013

Papua New Guinea has been warned some of its plant material has been patented by third parties outside the country.

A lawyer and executive director of the PNG Business Council, Douveri Henao, says PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu need to develop protocols and procedures for the safe exchange of genetic material between the three countries.

The Post Courier reports Mr Henao as saying this material patented overseas is open for commercial exploitation at the expense of PNG.

The director of National Agriculture Institute, Dr Raghunath Ghodake, says they want the government to commit to the International Treaty on Biodiversity.

He says if PNG does not act quickly to protect the genetic resources of its plants and the research by its scientists, it will lose out on the benefits that should be derived.