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.
Today the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich granted a patent on conventional breeding. Seminis, a company owned by Monsanto, received the patent (EP 1597965) on broccoli derived from conventional breeding. The plants, which are supposed to make harvesting easier, are derived from conventional cross-breeding and selection. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the “severed broccoli head”. It additionally covers a “plurality of broccoli plants .. . grown in a field of broccoli.”
With my signature I demand the revocation of the EP 1597965 Monsanto patent on “severed broccoli”. It is a patent on plants, seed and harvest derived from conventional breeding. It violates the prohibition in European patent law that excludes patents on plant varieties as well as on conventional breeding.
The European Patent Office (EPO) has done it again. Yesterday they granted a patent on pepper plants, such as chili, derived from conventional breeding (EP2140023). The patent covers the plants, fruits and seeds and even claims the growing and harvesting of the plants as an invention. The patent was granted despite the fact that the European Parliament and the German Parliament have asked the EPO to stop these patents, and over 2 million people have signed an online petition against patents on conventionally-bred seeds.