46. The representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia said that over 15 years had elapsed since the adoption of the TRIPS Agreement. However, the Council's review of the provisions of Article 27.3(b) was yet to be completed. Article 27.3(b) made it possible for Members to patent certain life forms, in particular, plants and animals, as well as essentially biological processes, and required that Members provide patenting of other life forms, such as microorganisms and microbiological processes. The adoption of the Agreement and the entry into force of Article 27.3(b) had led to an international race to patent life forms, comprising plants and animals, including human genes, cells, and microbiological organisms.
47. Bolivia had voiced its concerns in two communications submitted in 2010 and 2011, highlighting the adverse effects and the implications of the adoption of Article 27.3(b) and proposing an international ban on patenting of life. In those communications, Bolivia had emphasized, in particular, the ethical and moral implications of Article 27.3(b), and the potential role of the international community in making it possible for life itself to be treated as just another technology to be used or traded. By that approach the international community had extended the logic of the market and profits to the very roots of life itself, raising serious ethical and moral problems, which, in his view, ran counter to the beliefs and values of many peoples and cultures from many parts of the world. In particular, such an approach was at odds with that of the indigenous people of Bolivia, who held that life was sacred and should not be dealt with as just any other technology which could be monopolized or privatized.
48. In addition, Bolivia had referred to the negative effects of Article 27.3(b), in particular, in sectors of fundamental importance such as agriculture, health, food, and climate change. Contrary to what had been claimed, the adoption of Article 27.3(b) had not led to an increase in innovation. Instead it had become clear that patenting of life was having a negative impact on innovation, leading to significant problems for farmers who were dependent on use and access to life forms, which were now being patented. The trend had resulted in the concentration of vital sectors in the hands of just a few multinationals that determined the type of innovation that could be achieved and the types of technology, thus subordinating the future of mankind to their own interests. He said that it was imperative to review the Article in order to prohibit any patenting of life forms at the international level.