Navdanya calls for a stop on patents on seed, plants, farm animals and food
As of today truly global action is being taken against patents on seed, plants, farm animals, parts thereof including gene sequences and food. Over 100 organisations from all parts of the world are alerting the public and warning of the dangers of increasing monopoly rights on basic resources of farm and food production. Seed, plants and farm animals as well as food production chains are becoming progressively subject to monopoly rights imposed by worldwide patents. More and more patents have been filed and now include claims covering the conventional breeding of plants and animals. They are actually being claimed by industry as their inventions!
If this trend is not stopped these developments will impact on farmers, smaller-scale breeders, food producers and consumers. Leaving the control over seeds to multinational corporations means leaving decisions on choice in the food market and the way food is produced to those whose first aim is to make a profit, not provide food security. Farmers in particular are increasingly dependent on agrochemical and seed corporations. Breeding is becoming more difficult as access to genetic resources is hampered by the restrictions that patents impose. This situation will result in fewer innovations urgently needed for food safety.
The US company Monsanto recently filed patent application WO2008021413, which – in more than 1000 pages - makes 175 claims to misappropriate various gene sequences and genetic variations, especially in soy and maize. Monsanto even goes as far as to explicitly claim all relevant maize and soy plants inheriting those genetic elements and its uses in food, feed and biomass. In a further patent application, WO 2009011847, Monsanto makes broad claims covering methods for cattle breeding, for the animals themselves as well as “milk, cheese, butter and meat”. These patents and many others filed by various companies such as Dupont and Syngenta are the reason why Navdanya is calling upon politicians and patent offices around the world to ensure that such patents cannot and will not be granted:
“A radical change both in patent legislation and the practice of patent offices is needed to eliminate patents on plants and farm animals. Corporations should not be allowed to continue misappropriation and monopolisation of seeds, plants and farm animals via patent law. Otherwise these patents will become a major threat to global food security and regional food sovereignty.”
Navdanya is calling upon organisations and individuals to sign the joint global alert posted on the website of the ‘no patents on seeds' coalition. Global days of action against patents on farm and food production are planned from the end of April until July 2010. They will end in a public hearing on 20 July at the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany. This hearing will be on e on a patent filed for the conventional breeding of broccoli which hat will lead to a precedent decision being made in Europe. Navdanya will inform the public about these activities and will support it.
Link to the alert: Alert against Monsantosizing