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.
20 January 2016
The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a patent held by Monsanto on melons (EP1962578) for technical reasons. Monsanto was claiming melons with a natural resistance to plant viruses as its own invention, derived from breeding without genetic engineering. The resistance was detected in Indian melons. The patent was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) even though European patent law does not allow patents on plant varieties and processes for conventional breeding. The Indian government supported the opposition from No Patents on Seeds! by a sending letter requesting the patent to be revoked. The letter was sent to the EPO just one day before the hearing. Essentially the application of the patent constituted an act of biopiracy - violating Indian law and international treaties.
18 January 2016.
On 20 January the European Patent Office (EPO) will hold a public hearing on the opposition to a European Patent on melons (EP1962578). Monsanto is using this patent, to claim melons with a natural resistance to plant viruses as its own invention, derived from breeding without genetic engineering. The patent was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) even though European Patent Law does not allow patents on the conventional breeding of plants and animals. The resistance was copied from Indian melons. The opposition is also supported by the renowned Indian activist Vandana Shiva and her organisation Navdanya.
17 December 2015.
In a resolution backed by a large majority of its members, the European Parliament has taken a clear position against granting patents on plants derived from conventional (“essentially biological”) breeding. In its statement, it says that these plants, seeds, native traits or genes should be excluded from patentability. Furthermore, plant breeders should not be blocked by patents from accessing biological diversity needed for further breeding. The members of European Parliament are further insisting that prohibitions in existing European patent law to exclude patents on plant varieties and conventional breeding, are not undermined by the kind of false interpretation currently followed by the European Patent Office (EPO). Not long ago, the EPO granted several patents on tomatoes, pepper and broccoli derived from crossing and selection.