Saturday, April 04, 2009

Yoga theft

Yoga is considered a traditional medicine in many countries of Asia

Yoga is already a billion-dollar industry in the US.

The Indian government has already asked the US to register yoga as a "well-known" mark and raised concerns over the 130 yoga-related patents issued

The Indian government quite reasonably wants no one to appropriate the yoga brand for themselves

There are 1,500 asanas [yogic poses] and exercises given in ancient Indian texts.

These are currently being transcribed so they cannot be appropriated by anyone.

There have been instances where people have patented a yoga technique by describing a certain temperature.

This is simply wrong

India is also unusual in that it has seven national medical systems — of which modern medicine is but one.

Almost four-fifths of India's billion people use traditional medicine and there are 430,000 ayurvedic medical practitioners registered by the government in the country.

The department overseeing the traditional medical industry, known as Ayush, has a budget of 10bn rupees ($260m).

India's battle to protect its traditional treatments is rooted in the belief that the developing world's rich biodiversity is a potential treasure trove of starting material for new drugs and crops.

It has been noted that it costs the West $15bn and 15 years to produce a "blockbuster drug".

A ­patent lasts for 20 years, so a pharmaceutical company has just five years to recover its costs — which makes conventional treatments expensive.

If you can take a natural remedy and isolate the active ingredient then you just need drug trials and the marketing thereby saving a lot of time and money

Traditional medicine could herald a new age of cheap drugs for many hungry Western companies, unless the Indian and other governments can halt the theft of these ancient health approaches and natural remedies

The Guardian

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