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.
The European Parliament, the EU Commission and governments of the EU member states are all demanding a stop to granting patents covering plants and animals derived from conventional breeding. This is something that many NGOs, farmers and breeders have called for over many years.
15 March 2017
Today, 32 civil society organisations will start a public appeal to politicians and demand that effective prohibitions are put in place to stop the granting of patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding. The protest is targeted at patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2016 (EP2384110, EP2373154 and EP2575433) to the brewing companies Carlsberg and Heineken. The patents claim barley derived from conventional breeding, its usage in brewing beer and the beer produced thereof. However, the patents are simply based on random mutations in the plant’s genome. Just recently, the EU Commission and the EU Member States made it very clear that patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding are not allowed. Nevertheless, the EPO wants to continue to grant patents in future on random mutations. Currently, the civil society organisations are demanding that politicians ensure the loopholes in the law are closed.
20 February 2017
The governments of the EU Member States today decided to take action against patents on conventionally bred plants and animals. The EU governments want to prevent the European Patent Office (EPO) from granting further patents in this area. The position as adopted in the EU Competitiveness Council supports earlier statements by the European Parliament and the European Commission. In recent years, the EPO has again and again granted patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding, including patents on broccoli and tomatoes. Most recently the EPO granted patents on barley and beer for the companies Carlsberg and Heineken.