Greg Traxler
Auburn University and International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT)

Although genetically modified varieties (GMVs) have been commercially successful in the United States(US), their future in developing countries (DCs) with smaller markets is uncertain. How likely is it that relatively small countries will gain access to GMV technology? Will the dominance of biotechnology by multinational firms make GMV technology too expensive for small DCs? In this paper we attempt to draw lessons from the US experience to speculate on the prospects for developing countries to gain access to GMV technology. We conclude that small countries could be attractive markets for life science and seed companies if biosafety and intellectual property systems become institutionalized.

Key words: Genetically modified varities (GMVs); developing countries (DCs); intellectual property rights; technology transfer.