In recent years, civil society organizations1 such as the ETC Group (or Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration) have played an increasingly important role in shaping debates on science and technology issues and in stimulating global policy dialogues on the appropriate development of transformative technologies and their socioeconomic implications. With a small complement of staff, this Canadian-based advocacy group has successfully lobbied governments and consulted with international bodies on a global scale. It has focused its attention on topics such as plant genetic resources, biotechnology, intellectual property rights, biopiracy, nanotechnology, geoengi-neering, synthetic biology, and human genomics. The ETC Group is a registered civil society organization in Canada and in The Netherlands, while Friends of the ETC Group is a private, nonprofit organization in ...

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