24. The representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia said that the review of Article 27.3(b) was part of the mandate of the Doha Work Programme under paragraph 19 of the Ministerial Declaration. It was also an outstanding implementation issue, and paragraph 12 of the Ministerial Declaration mentioned the adoption of a Decision to address implementation related concerns (WT/MIN(01)/17).
25. In the more than 15 years following the adoption of Article 27.3(b), Members had witnessed the impetus that that Article had given to the race to patent genetic resources, plants, and life forms and parts thereof, a trend that was increasingly worrying given its ethical and moral implications. The adoption of that Article provided Members the possibility to grant patents on plants and animals as well as biological processes and established the obligation to grant patents for microorganisms and microbiological and non-biological processes, thus promoting a new phase in the extension of private appropriation of nature in a way that had never been seen before. The result had been a proliferation of patents and patent applications involving a wide range of life forms, including human genes or parts thereof such as proteins, gene sequences, cells, cell lines and tissues.
26. The patentability of life forms promoted by Article 27.3(b) raised a series of ethical and moral concerns for many cultures and populations around the world. The extension of patents to life forms was based on the idea that life forms and parts thereof were human inventions and, as such, patentable. That concept promoted the commercialization of life and nature and reduced their value to nothing more than a mercantile and commercial vision. That vision was far removed from the culture, values and beliefs of many peoples and societies, for whom life was something sacred and special that could not be considered a human invention or treated as just another commodity. Those reasons, together with others, had led Bolivia to propose that Article 27.3(b) be revised and amended to prohibit the patenting of all life forms and parts thereof.