EC backs India

condemning what it described as the phenomenon of "biocolonialism' in the context of gene patents , the European Council has supported India's stance against piracy of its natural patents.

Quite obviously, the criticism was directed at a number of industrialised countries, particularly the us , where producers have already started the cultivation of a rice species that resembles India's famous basmati . Companies are now contemplating patents on neem , the medicinal properties of which have attracted the attention of a number of pharmaceutical companies.

Wolfgang Wodarg, a German parliamentarian, said developing countries should not be robbed of their natural resources by multinationals and other concerns. He made a plea at the council's headquarters at the Palais d'Europe on behalf of developing countries.

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