The European Parliament has adopted new rules on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits resulting from their use (known as ABS) in the European Union (EU). The Parliament has also granted its consent for the EU to be legally bound by the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, an international agreement under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Expected to become effective in October 2014, the new regulations will establish due diligence obligations applicable to research and development conducted on genetic resources, and require biodiversity-based research and development companies from sectors, such as cosmetics, food and beverage, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals to seek, keep and transfer certain information, including date and place of access, source and subsequent users, and compliance with ABS requirements. Further details about genetic resource governing appear in Issue 430 of Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Environmental & Chemical Update. See EthicalBiotrade.org, March 12, 2014.