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基因编辑和种子窃取

奥斯汀,德克萨斯—四百年前,约翰·罗尔夫(John Rolfe)用从西印度群岛偷来的烟草种子发展出弗吉尼亚州第一宗盈利的出口生意,扰乱了西班牙加勒比海殖民地的烟草贸易。两百多年后,另一个英国人亨利·威科姆(Henry Wickham)通过殖民机构伦敦皇家植物园(Royal Botanic Gardens)将橡胶树种子从巴西带到亚洲,这导致亚马逊橡胶繁荣的最终消亡。

在植物出口不受管制的时代,只消一手提箱种子,就能破坏生计甚至整个经济。而在遗传学进步的推动下,很快连一箱种子也不需要了。

平心而论,在过去几十年里,在监管故意跨境运输动物、植物和其他生命体的基因物质方面取得了巨大的进步。特别是1992年联合国生物多样性公约将国家主权置于生物多样性之上,有助于保护基因资源提供者的权利——比如(在理想情况下)保护和培育了宝贵的遗传物质的农民和当地居民。

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