Publications - The Edmonds Institute


 This website is maintained as an archive of the Institute’s most popular publications. The list of publications below does NOT include all the materials ever produced by Institute.  Materials written or edited by Institute staff and/or published by other organizations, for example, will not be found here but generally can be found by searching the Internet.

Where “(*)” appears after a title listed below, that publication can be downloaded from  this website.


Out of Brazil: A Peanut Worth Billions (to the US) (*)


A report of how a peanut collected at a market in Porto Alegre, Brazil, came to earn billions for US farmers. The case illustrates how, in the absence of effective access and benefit sharing laws, genetic acquisition can make big profits for some but little or nothing for those from whom the original germplasm was taken.



Out of Africa: Mysteries of Access and Benefit Sharing (*)


A stunning 50-page research report on biopiracy in Africa, suggesting a continent-wide free-for-all of biodiversity and traditional knowledge acquisition -- apparently without the prior informed consent of those whose biodiversity (or traditional knowledge) has been taken.



The Catch: Perspectives in Benefit Sharing (*)


A 280-page paperback examining the possibility of benefit sharing as a vehicle for equity and an antidote to biopiracy. Edited and with a preface by Institute director, Beth Burrows, and chapters by Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher (Ethiopian scientist and diplomat, winner of the Right Livelihood Award and one of the architects of the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol), Ossama M. El-Tayeb (Egyptian scientist and diplomat, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Microbial Biotechnology Center at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University), Michael Frein (senior policy advisor on trade and WTO issues at Evangelischer Entwicklungsdient, EED, Bonn, Germany), Debra Harry (Northern Paiute from Pyramid Lake in Nevada and Executive Director of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism), Le'a Malia Kanehe (Kanaka Maoli from Honolulu, Hawai'i and indigenous rights attorney with the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism), Harmut Meyer (scientist and coordinator of the Working Group on Biodversity of the NGO Forum on Environment and Development, Braunschweig, Germany), Elpidio V. Peria (legal advisor to the Philippine delegation to the Convention on Biological Diversity and NGO advocacy officer), Silvia Ribeiro (researcher and program manager with ETC Group, currently based in Mexico), Devinder Sharma (New Delhi based food and trade policy analyst and journalist), and Vandana Shiva (author/scientist/activist director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in New Delhi and Director of Navdanya in Dehra Dun, India).



Don't Mourn for Us (*)


A 2005 occasional paper originally intended for parents of autistic children in which the author Jim Sinclair, himself autistic, enjoins parents to get over the disappointment of not having the "normal" child they expected and begin to understand the "alien" child that arrived instead. For members of the disability rights community, there may be little that is new here, but for others - particularly those who seek technological and/or eugenic "improvement" in the human species - this may prove to be an eye opener.



Argentina: In the Wake of Genetically Modified Soy


a 2004 occasional paper in which Adolfo Boy, an Argentinian agronomist examines how his country - "once the bread basket of the world" - was transformed into what he calls "a 'Republiqueta', a lousy little country just producing soybeans."



Honor Our Right to Know: An Important Issue in Bio Research


by Lei Xiong, senior China Features reporter with the Xinhua News Agency - a 2003 paper about watchdogging prior informed consent issues, academic researchers, and the rights of farmer research subjects in China.



Biopolicy and Biopolitics in the Pacific Islands


by Lopeti Senituli, Director of the Tonga Human Rights and Democracy movement office in Nuku'alofa, Tonga - a 2003 paper exposing the implications of an attempted deal for the genes of all the people of Tonga.



Biodiversity Mystery Theatre . . . tales drawn from the files of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (*)


As the world awaited the 2003 Cancun Ministerial of the World Trade Organization, intellectual property problems persisted. Still unresolved were issues created years before by the granting of patents on living organisms and their pieces and parts. In this series of documentaries originally distributed by email and print, writer/researcher Jay McGown, editor Freida Morris, and translator Alexandra Curi explore five cases of potential biopiracy: the Case of the African Tumor Fighter, the Case of the Mexican Bean Gene Claim, the Case of the Soothing South Pacific Oil Nuts, the Case of the Pentagon's Big African Knowledge Grab, and the Case of the Pigeon Pea Patents. The scripts feature an international cast of characters and are available in both English and Spanish (Teatro Misterios de Biodiversidad).



When I woke up . . . a personal journey with Terri Schindler-Schiavo


A 2003 occasional paper by Rus Cooper-Dowda - reporting on the case of a woman whose life has been the subject of court battles for more than ten years. Descriptions of medical testimony and the author's profound identification with Terri Schindler-Schiavo make it clear that the case is about more than medical evidence. Readers are presented with painful questions about human achievement and human failing, about human rights and professional judgments, and about how we decide who speaks for those whose voices we may not be able to hear. In an age when some voices call for human genetic engineering, this paper draws attention to the limitations imposed on us by preconceived notions of disability and meaningful life.



Addressing Environmental Modification in Post-Cold War Conflict, The Convention on the Prohibition of Military and Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) and Related Agreements (*)


A 2001 occasional paper by Susana Pimiento Chamorro and Edward Hammond in which the authors examine the feasibility of using an existing treaty to protect the environment in times of conflict.



Agricultural Biowarfare and Bioterrorism (*)


A 2000 occasional paper by Dr. Mark Wheelis, Section of Microbiology, University of California-Davis - examining the potential goals of agricultural biowarfare, who might engage in such activity, what the consequences might be, how it might work and how genetic technology might change that, which states are at risk, and how it all might be deterred.



Manual for Assessing Ecological and Human Health Effects of Genetically Engineered Organisms (*)

Authored by a group of scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including Mark Wheelis (University of California-Davis), Andrew Spielman (Harvard University), Philip Regal (University of Minnesota), Deborah Letourneau (University of California-Santa Cruz), Terrie Klinger (Friday Harbor Labs), Anne R. Kapuscinski (University of Minnesota), Conrad Istock (formerly of the University of Arizona), Elaine Ingham (Oregon State University), Norman Ellstrand (University of California-Riverside), Pushpa M. Bhargava (Anveshna Consultancy, India), and Sharon Akabas (Columbia University).

The two-volume manual, reviewed in a double blind peer review managed by a former head of the Ecological Society of America, is available here in electronic form, both in
English and in Russian. The Manual is the much-expanded, and renamed edition of the DRAFT Assessment of Genetically Engineered Organisms in the Environment: The Puget Sound Workshop Biosafety Handbook - an acclaimed, path-breaking work brought out several years ago as a biosafety handbook accessible to the public and reflective of maximum concern for ecological and human health.

Thanks to the work of people at the Socio-Ecological Union in Russia and others, a Russian translation is available in print and online at this site (click here). A Slovenian translation, done under the auspices of the Slovenian Government, is available on the website of the Slovenian Ministry for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy at:     

Videotapes to accompany the Manual and demonstrate use of  its flowcharts are also available. For more information about  the videotapes, click here .


Biopiracy and Biodiversity


An audio recording of a lecture by Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally acclaimed ecologist, physicist, and feminist, preceded by introductions from former U.S. Congressmember Jolene Unsoeld, activist Hazel Wolf, and Edmonds Institute director Beth Burrows. $5



Does Technology Know Where It’s Going? (12 Reasons to Stop Expecting Modern Biotechnology to Create a Sustainable Agriculture and What to Do After the Expectation Has Ceased)


An Edmonds Institute 1996 occasional paper by Jack Kloppenburg, Professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, food ecologist, and award-winning author of First the Seed, and Neva Hassenein and Beth Burrows. OUT OF PRINT



Access to the Resources of Biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples (*)


The moving declaration of Lorenzo Muelas Hurtado, of Movimiento Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia, explaining the need for a moratorium on all access activities to indigenous resources and knowledge. Muelas first published his call for a moratorium in Bogotá in 1998 and now has granted the Institute permission to republish it as an occasional paper. The paper is also available in the original Spanish, Acceso a los recursos de la bioversidad y pueblo indígenas. (*)



Where Nothing is Sacred (The Culture of Commodification)


A review of the lived experience of the patenting of life - by Beth Burrows, President/Director of the Edmonds Institute - a 1999 occasional paper reprinted from the UNESCO publication Conserving the Sacred for Biodiversity Management.



Your Genes Are for Sale


A 1999 occasional paper by Dr. Stephen Jones, Ph.D. wheat breeder in the Department of Crops and Soils at Washington State University and chair of the National Wheat Crop Germplasm Committee- about the effect of patents on public breeding programs.



Science and the Disadvantaged (*)


A 2000 occasional paper by Dr. Gregor Wolbring, University of Calagary (Canada) School of Medicine - a stunning indictment of science, public policy, eugenics, and the development of an "animal farm" mentality among communities fighting for equal rights.


The Right to be Different: Some Political Reflections and Considerations


A 2001 occasional paper by Erika Feyerabend, sociologist, journalist, and member of BioSkop-Forum zur Beobachtung der Biowissenschaften e.V. - in which the author examines the harsh social realities of genetic screening and DNA analysis.



Divided Again - poems about designing people


From the winners and runners-up of the 1999 Clone Poems Contest - includes work by Vivien Shipley, Stephanie Strickland, Paul Brooke, Helen Pruitt Wallace, and others - an excellent introduction to the dilemmas created by human genetic engineering.



Testimony of John Moore to the Committee on Human Genome Diversity of the National Academy of Sciences, September 16, 1996


The testimony of the man whose doctor patented his cell line without his knowledge or consent. Moore draws parallels between his own case and that of indigenous peoples faced with the collection of their genetic materials.



Testimony of Beth Burrows to the Committee on Human Genome Diversity of the National Academy of Sciences, September 16, 1996


The testimony of the Edmonds Institute director, severely criticizing both the ethics of proposed Human Genome Diversity Project and the proponents’ concept of prior informed consent. She also questioned the methods of the committee before which she appeared.



The Human Genome Diversity Project: Indigenous Communities and the Commercialization of Science


A 1998 occasional paper by Brian Tokar, noted author, critic, and professor at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont.



A Brief History of Biotechnology Risk Debates and Policies in the United States (*)


By Professor Philip J. Regal, University of Minnesota-St. Paul, one of the world’s leading authorities on biosafety.



How the Terminator terminates: an explanation for the non-scientist of a remarkable patent for killing second generation seeds of crop plants (*)


A revised edition of the 1998 occasional paper about the “Terminator Technology “ by Martha Crouch, Associate Professor of Biology at Indiana University.



Transgenic Plants and Antibiotics (Will GMOs aggravate the crucial problem of bacterial resistance?)


Elisabeth Abergel (York University, Canada) translation of Patrice Courvalin’s article in the May 1998 issue of La Recherche



GMOs and Disease and Pest Resistance (*)


A 1998 occasional paper by Professor Martin Wolfe, retired chair of Plant Pathology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich)



La Biosécurité Concernant Les Organismes Vivant Modifiés (*)


Par Professeur Anne R. Kapuscinski, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota



Food Safety and Genetic Engineering: Methodological Issues


By Dr. Sharon Akabas, Columbia University Institute of Nutrition.



Biosafety Regulation: Why We Need It


By Professor Elaine Ingham of Oregon State University.



Biosafety Regulations: A Critique of Existing Documents


By Professor Elaine Ingham and Michael Holmes, of Oregon State University’s Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. OUT OF PRINT.



What They Haven’t Advertised...about Biotechnology, volume 1


A series of four one-page information sheets about genetic engineering.



Haggadah for the Last Seder without Genetically Engineered Food


In the tradition of rewriting the Passover service to address current social and political concerns, comes this 1997 booklet for the Passover seder, written by Freida Morris and Martine Benjamin.





Recipes, collected by editor Beth Burrows from Diverse Women for Diversity around the world, including Holly Dressel, Afia Serena Nathaniel, Christine Dann, Florianne Koechlin, Jean Grossholtz, Amigransa Venezuela, Wray Whyte, Srividhya Shanker, Sugandha Parthasarathy, Mrs. Kannamma Vaidyanathan, Etienne Vernet, Hira Jhamtani, Sharron Pearce, Sheryle Bergman, Alice Hasbrouck, Luba Lacinova, Jumat M. - PAN Asia Pacific, Cathleen Kneen, and Navdanya.


Other reprints of Institute articles, including some in Spanish, on trade, patents, and other subjects available upon request. Please note that these materials are made available for the cost, to the nearest dollar, of reproduction and mailing. If this is more than you can afford, please let us know; we wish to deny no one access to our material. To receive any of the above, write us, indicating what you want.