Biodiversity, Knowledge & Rights Series no. 5

Sequence Data and Benefit Sharing: DivSeek’s Pitfalls Show Need for Appropriate Policy

By Edward Hammond

Publisher: TWN
ISBN: 978-967-0747-19-4
Year: 2017   No. of pages: 40
14.5 cm x 21 cm

About the Book

Diversity Seek (DivSeek) is an ambitious digital genebanking project which aims to coordinate databases documenting hundreds of thousands of genomes of crop plants. This book is a compilation of investigative reports looking into the initiative's potentially far-reaching implications for access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits resulting from their use.

Drawing on records released under freedom-of-information laws, the reports reveal how leading figures in DivSeek are seeking to bypass international access and benefit-sharing rules, thereby enabling unfettered access by the seed industry to valuable genomic data on plants originating from developing countries.

Edward Hammond directs Prickly Research (, a research and writing consultancy based in Austin, Texas, USA.  He has worked on biodiversity and infectious disease issues since 1994. From 1999 to 2008 Hammond directed the Sunshine Project, an international non-governmental organization specializing in biological weapons control. Hammond was Programme Officer for the Rural Advancement Foundation International (now the ETC Group) from 1995 to 1999.  He holds MS and MA degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was an Inter-American Foundation Masters Fellow.


Chapter 1.      Introduction                                                      

Chapter 2.      Digital genebankers plan to ignore UN request on the impact of genomics and synthetic biology on access and benefit sharing         

Chapter 3.      Synthetic biology and agriculture: Access to genetic data is “the big issue of our time”

Chapter 4.      DivSeek founder offers patent rights on climate change genes to Syngenta and DuPont in exchange for $400,000                                      

Chapter 5.      Thousands of pages of DivSeek internal e-mails released, offering detailed insight into the controversial agricultural “big data” project


                                             PRICE           POSTAGE

Malaysia                               RM7.00           RM1.00

Developing Countries          US$4.00          US$2.00 (air)

Others                                  US$6.00          US$3.00 (air)

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How to Order the Book

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