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No Patents On Seeds

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Open letter To Members of the European Parliament and European Commission

No patents on plants and animals!

Dear Sir or Madam

We are writing to you to alert you to problems caused by European Patent law. We are especially concerned about patents on plants and animals, genetic material and processes for breeding of plants and animals and food derived thereof and their impact on farmers, breeders and consumers, innovation and biodiversity. The European Parliament adopted a Directive on biotechnology patents in 1998 (Dir. 98/44 EC “Legal protection of biotechnological inventions”). The Directive was integrated in the framework of the European Patent Office (EPO) in 1999 and since then about 900 patents on animals and 1800 patents on plants have been granted. Several thousands patents more are still pending.

Ten years of patents on plants and animals show that the negative impacts of the European Patent Directive cannot be ignored:

Clear and effective prohibitions from patentability are largely missing from the present legal framework. Existing prohibitions concerning patents on plants and animals can be easily circumvented, as shown by many decisions of the EPO. For example, patents on gene sequences and breeding processes are easily extended to plants and animal varieties.

We are especially  concerned that the European Patent Office even grants an increasing number of patents on conventional plants and animals. This is an alarming development causing a dangerous precedent given that conventional plants (without genetic engineering) has so far not been patentable. In many cases these patents cover the whole chain of farm and food production. Even just after the decision in the “Broccoli Case”, which excludes patents on processes for the conventional breeding of plants and animals (G2/07 and G1/08), the EPO in January 2011 again started to grant patents on seeds, plants and food derived from conventional breeding.

Such patents create new dependencies for farmers, breeders and food producers. This has to be regarded as misappropriation of basic resources in farm and food production and as general abuse of patent law.

Farmers also see the need for seed-saving strategies and the informal seed market to be respected and integrated into the overall legal framework. Although this is not the subject of this letter, it is important to point out that EU regulations on protecting plant variety and the EU seed catalogue should be adapted accordingly.

We ask you to call for an urgent re-think of European patent law in biotechnology and plant breeding and to support clear regulations that exclude from patentability plants and animals, genetic material and processes for breeding of plants and animals and food derived thereof.

With kind regards

1. A SEED Europe (The Netherlands)
2. ACHAR (Portugal)
3. ACTUAR (Portugal)
9. Agrologica (Denmark)
10. AIAB Veneto ONLUS (Italia)
14. APAEM (spain)
16. arbeitskreis bioethik (deutschland)
18. Arche Noah (Österreich)
20. Ass. Ayusya - Onlus (Italy)
22. Associação IN LOCO (Portugal)
26. Association Le GRAMI (Suisse)
28. Association of ecological farming (Lithuania)
30. Association Pont Universel (Switzerland)
31. Association Savoir Patient (Switzerland)
32. associazione animalista livornese (italia)
34. Bakker Bio VOF (Netherlands)
38. BD org (The Netherland)
40. Beekeeping (Germany)
41. BeeSupport Foundation (Netherlands)
42. BI "Bürger/innen sagen NEIN zur Agro-Gentechnik" im Landkreis Cochem-Zell (Deutschland)
43. Bijenstichting (Nederland)
45. Bio Austria Kärnten (Österreich)
46. Bio Ernte Steiermark (Austria)
47. bio suisse (Schweiz)
48. Bio-Saatgut Gaby Krautkrämer (Deutschland)
49. Bio-Verbraucher e. V. (Deutschland)
50. Biodiva (France)
51. BioForum (Belgie)
52. BioForum VLaanderen (Belgium)
53. Biokreis e.V. (Deutschland)
55. Bioland e.V. (Deutschland)
57. BN-Vaterstetten (Deutschland)
58. Bolster Organic Seed Company (The Netherlands)
60. Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
61. (schweiz)
71. Caboolture Seed Savers (Australia)
72. Cambridge GM Concern (uk)
74. Campo Aberto (Portugal)
76. Capim Limao - UFRJ (Brasil)
77. CBL (France)
79. Center for Environment (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
81. CERAI (españa)
82. Chorherrenstift St. Florian (Österreich)
84. CJMG (Belo Horizonte)
86. coecoceiba-foe costa rica (costa rica)
87. Combat Monsanto (France)
88. Comitato antielettrosmog di Bologna (Italia)
90. Consumers for GM Free Food (australia)
93. De Grote Tor (NL)
94. De Hofmakerij (belgium)
96. deutsche reform-jugend e.V. (Deutschland)
97. Earthship Belgium (Belgium)
99. eco-cultur-contact (Austria)
101. Ecologistas en Acción (Spanien)
102. ecologistas en action (Spain)
103. Ecoropa (Germany)
104. Ecos do Sul (Portugal)
105. EQUIVITA (Italia)
106. Ervital, lda. (portugal)
108. (Schweiz)
113. FIAN (Deutschland)
114. FiBL (Österreich)
116. Frauen für den Frieden (Schweiz)
117. Freie-Saaten.Org.e.V. (Deutschland)
121. Gaia (Portugal)
122. Gaia Foundation (UK)
123. gandhi international (France)
125. GE-QUESTA (Portugal)
126. GEH-Regionalgruppe Franken (Deutschland.Bayern)
127. Gen-ethisches Netzwerk e.V. (Deutschland)
129. Gentechnikfreie Bodenseeregion (Deutschland)
130. Gentechnikfreies Europa e.V. (Deutschland)
131. Gesundheitsverein Augsburg/Schwaben e.V. (GeVAS) Redaktion Gesundheitsfächer (Bayern)
132. GfI Werra-Meissner-Land (Deutschland)
133. Glefas (Brasil)
134. Green City e.V. (Deutschland)
135. Green In Berlin (Germany)
136. greentopia genossenschaft (schweiz)
137. Grupo Aroeira (Brasil)
138. Grupo Mesófilo AC (Mexico)
139. Hegenheim Qualité de Vie (France)
140. Hof Wörme (deutschland)
142. IG Nachbau (Deutschland)
143. Ig Wildpflanzen (Österreich )
144. IG-Saatgut (Deutschland)
145. Igreja Presbiteriana da Madeira (Portugal)
146. IKAT (Deutschland)
148. Initiative Mexiko (Deutschland)
150. Inscrire (belgium)
154. IPPNW (Deutschland)
155. JANUN e.V. Region Büro (Poland)
156. JANUN-Göttingen e.V. (Germany)
157. Jardin'enVie (France)
158. Jugend mit Zukunft e.V. (Deutschland)
159. Junta Aí (Brasil)
160. KAB, Ortsverband Rott (Deutschland)
161. Kath. Jugendstelle Miesbach (Deutschland)
163. Katholische Landvolkbewegung (Deutschland)
165. KDFB Zweigverein Ansbach (Deutschland)
166. Keonjhar Integrated Rural Development & Training Institute (KIRDTI) (India)
167. KNEWLEDGE-Initiative (Austria)
171. l.i.d.a. (Italy)
172. Latvijas Zemes draugi (Latvia)
173. Lebensraum Suedheide (Austria)
174. Longo maï (schweiz)
175. Lowanka (France)
176. MacKillop Catholic College (Australia)
180. Mission EineWelt (Deutschland)
181. Miteinander Teilen (Belgium)
185. Natur-und Vogelschutzverein Holderbank, Birdlife Aargau, Birdlife Schweiz (Schweiz)
186. Natural Solutions Foundation (United States)
187. Naturheilverein Hesel e. V. (Deutschland)
189. Naturkostinfos (Germany)
192. Naturpark Spessart e.V. (Deutschland)
193. Naturschutzbund e.V.(NABU) (Deutschland)
194. Netzwerk Blühende Landschaft (Deutschland)
195. Nicaragua-Forum Heidelberg (Deutschland)
196. Norges Bygdeungdomslag (Norway)
201. Ökodorf Sieben Linden (Deutschland)
202. Ökologischer Ärztebund e.V. (Deutschland)
205. ONG 4 Cantos do mundo (Brasil)
206. Organic World (South Africa)
207. Oxfam-in-Belgium (Belgium)
208. Oxfam-Weredwinkels vzw (Belgium)
209. PAN Uruguay (Uruguay)
211. Permakultur Austria (Österreich)
212. PLANT, Inc (USA)
213. Plantar Uma Árvore (Portugal)
215. Pomologen-Verein e.V. (Deutschland)
216. Pro Natura (Schweiz)
217. ProSpecieRara (Schweiz)
218. Quercus (Portugal)
219. Raizes (Portugal)
223. Ref. Kirchgemeinde Greifensee (Schweiz)
224. Regenwald-Institut e.V. (Germany)
226. Sambucus e.V. (Deutschland)
227. Sativa Rheinau AG (Switzerland)
228. Save Our Seeds (Deutschland)
229. Sawit Watch (Indonesia)
230. Schulschwestern (Österreich)
231. Semillas de Vida, A.C. (Mexico)
232. SIMBIOSIS -Mensch u.Natur e.V. (Deutschland)
233. Slow Food Barnim-Oderland (Germany)
237. Stiftung GEKKO (Deutschland)
238. Sustainable Sighisoara (Romania)
239. Tara Foundation (India)
240. The European GMO-free Citizens (The Netherlands)
243. Tier & Mensch e.V. (Deutschland)
244. TIERHILFE LAHN DILL e.V. (Deutschland)
245. (Netherlands)
246. tree shed organic farm (Uganda)
247. TRITICATUM (españa)
248. UmweltHaus am Schüberg (Germany)
249. Umweltinstitut München e.V. (Deutschland)
250. Umweltnetz München-Ost (UMO) (Deutschland)
251. una cremona onlus (Italia)
252. Union paysanne (Québec, Canada)
254. VELT (belgium)
260. Vredeseilanden (Belgium)
261. VTMU (Schweiz)
263. Washington Biotechnology Action Council (USA)
266. zbb e.V. (Bayern)
267. Zivilcourage (Bayern)
269. Zivilcourage-Roth-Schwabach (Germany)
270. Zivilcourage-Straubing-Bogen (Deutschland)
271. Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft (Deutschland)

70 000 more signatures of individuals.


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