The organisations behind No Patents On Seeds are especially concerned about increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity. These patents create new dependencies for farmers, breeders, food producers and consumers. These patents have to be regarded as misappropriation of basic resources in farm and food production and as general abuse of patent law. We call for an urgent re-think of European patent law in biotechnology and plant breeding and to support clear regulations that exclude from patentability processes for breeding, genetic material, plants and animals and food derived thereof.
26 February 2014, Munich.
Today the European Patent Office in Munich (EPO) is granting a patent to Monsanto on screening and selecting soybean plants adapted to certain climate zones (EP2134870). The plants supposedly have higher yields in different environmental conditions. The soybeans concerned are wild and cultivated species from Asia and Australia. According to the patent, more than 250 plants from “exotic” species were screened for biodiversity in climate adaption and variations in maturity.
20 February 2014 Munich.
The company, H.M. Clause, which belongs to the French co-operative group, Limagrain yesterday was granted a European Patent on watermelons (EP 1816908). The patented watermelon plant is supposedly even more multibranching and smaller fruits than usual, but this cannot be an invented trait since it is part of naturally occurring biodiversity. The patent covers the seeds, the plants and the fruits.
Munich/ Bern/ Zurich, 3 February 2014.
Today a broad coalition of 32 NGOs, farmers and breeders organisations in 26 European countries filed an opposition to a patent on sweet peppers granted to Syngenta. The company patented an insect resistance, which they copied from a wild pepper plant. Such patents are not only ethically questionable but also increase the seed market concentration, hinder innovation, and consequently pose a threat to global food security. To further highlight the issue the opponents offered a hot pepper soup to the employees of the European Patent Office whilst filing the opposition.