This article analyzes the impacts of the international legal framework for the promotion of intellectual property rights on India's legal regime concerning the control over biological resources and inventions derived from biological resources. It focuses in particular on the newly adopted Biodiversity Act and Plant Variety Act as well as on amendments to the Patents Act and their organic relationship within the overall domestic legal framework. It analyzes these enactments in the context of the move towards the control of biological resources and derived products through property rights fostered by existing international treaties, in particular the TRIPS agreement and the biodiversity convention. This has impacts not only for control over biological resources and derived products but also more generally on the management of agriculture in India and other developing countries and the realization of food security and the human right to food at the individual level.

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Author notes

The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers of Global Environmental Politics and the guest editors for valuable suggestions.