“We believe that plants and seeds are not human inventions, and therefore not patentable. This patent is based on biopiracy since it patents traits taken from indigenous melon varieties from India. There is an urgent need to ban all patents on life and living organisms including genes, breeding material and biodiversity”, says Vandana Shiva, who was awarded with the Right Livelihoods Award (Alternative Nobel Price) in 1993.
For several years, the plant disease Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) has been spreading through North America, Europe and North Africa. The Indian melon, which confers resistance to this virus, is registered in international seed banks as PI 313970. With the new patent Monsanto can now block access to all breeding material inheriting the resistance derived from the Indian melon. The patent might discourage future breeding efforts and the development of new melon varieties. Melon breeders and farmers could be severely restricted by the patent. At the same time, it is already known that further breeding will be necessary to produce melons that are actually protected against the plant virus.
The coalition No Patents on Seeds! , which started the opposition is supported by the Berne Declaration (Switzerland), GeneWatch (UK), Greenpeace (Germany), Misereor (Germany), Development Fund (Norway), No Patents on Life (Germany), Reseau Semences Paysannes (France) and Swissaid (Switzerland). These organisations are calling for a revision of European Patent Law to exclude breeding material, plants and animals and food derived thereof from patentability. Since March 2011, more than 250 organisations and around 53 000 individuals have signed this petition.
For further information, please contact:
Navdanya, India: Vandana Shiva, + 91-11-26968077, Vandana Shiva
No Patents on Seeds, Munich: Christoph Then, +49 151 54638040, firstname.lastname@example.org
More informations: www.no-patents-on-seeds.org, www.navdanya.org, Link to the patent and the opposition: http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/information/patent-cases/patent-m…
Link to the call for signatures: http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/recent-activities/open-letter-mem…