Gardening

Monsanto gets broccoli patent

In June, the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich granted a patent on conventional broccoli farming. Seminis, a company owned by Monsanto , received the patent (EP 1597965) on broccoli derived from conventional breeding. The plants, which are supposed to facilitate harvesting, are derived from traditional crossing and selection. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the “cut broccoli head” . It also covers a ‘plurality of broccoli plants …. grown in a broccoli field. ‘The European Parliament and the German Parliament have both been very critical of this type of patent. Recently, two million signatures were collected on a petition in favor of the prohibition of patents on conventional farming. No to patents on seeds! is filing opposition against this latest Monsanto patent.

“We call for opposition to the broccoli patent. “The EPO and Monsanto are on a confrontational course with European society,” said Christoph Then of No to Patents on Seeds! We intend to send a clear signal that we are not going to let our food be monopolized .”

All the organizations that are also making demands on European politicians urge them to take control of the EPO in order to change the interpretation of the current patent law through the Board of Directors of the EPO, which is the set of the Member states.

As is clear from a working paper published by the FAO World Food Organization, the industry is planning to exploit patents on conventional farming. According to the figures, global sales of proprietary plants derived from conventional breeding will increase for the time being, from around $ 700 million to $ 3 billion in 2020. These figures are also based on patents granted by the EPO.

The organizations that make up the Coalition of No to Patents on Seeds! are very concerned that these types of patents will further promote market concentration, making farmers and other actors in the food supply chain even more dependent on a few large international companies, and eventually narrowing the choices of consumers. The Coalition, No Patents on Seeds! , It is organized by Bionext (Netherlands), Berne Declaration (Switzerland), GeneWatch (United Kingdom), Greenpeace (Germany), Misereor (Germany), Development Fund (Norway), No to patents on life ( Germany), Rete Semi Rurali, (Italy), Red de Semillas Campesinas (France) and Swissaid (Switzerland). All of them are calling for a revision of the European Patent Law to exclude reproductive material, plants and animals and food derived from them from patentability. The coalition is supported by several hundred other organizations.

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