European Patent Office cancels public hearing

Source: No Patents on Seeds

Munich, 20. October 2011.

Surprisingly, the European Patent Office (EPO) has just canceled a public hearing on the controversial patent on a broccoli scheduled for 26 October. A broad range of organisations had been preparing a demonstration against patents for plants and animals on that day. The broccoli protected by the patent EP1069819 was derived by conventional breeding methods. The rights to the patents are being held by US company Monsanto. The company Syngenta which had appealed against the patent, has now surprisingly proposed the cancellation of the planned hearing. The EPO is following this request from industry. This means that the patent for the broccoli, which is derived by traditional breeding methods, will now be upheld with only minor modifications.

“The patent office as well as industry shy away from any public spotlight. They wanted to avoid the demonstration, to which even the German minister for agriculture had been invited to speak. There is no other explanation as to why the long scheduled hearing has now so suddenly been canceled. However, public protest will continue, and we will not stop mobilisation for the demonstration”, says Ruth Tippe of “No Patents on Life!”, which had been involved in the preparation of the demonstration, together with Farmers, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Misereor and others.

As the broccoli in question has already reached supermarket shelves in the UK, some effects of patented vegetables can now be studied. The broccoli was derived by conventional breeding methods and is supposed to contain a higher level of healthy components. The rights to the patents are being held by US company Monsanto. As of October 2011, the company exclusively markets the broccoli under the label “naturally better” and at significantly higher prices than other broccoli varieties through the retail chain Marks & Spencer. Without the assigned patent other breeders could further improve this broccoli and consumers would have a much wider choice between several producers. Now the patent will stifle further breeding developments.

“In times when nearly a billion people are starving, it is simply immoral to artificially increase prices of foods through patent monopolies. Effectively, companies such as Monsanto are abusing patent laws to turn food resources into financial ventures. Should healthy food only be available for rich people?” asks Kerstin Lanje from Misereor.

For contacts please call:
Ruth Tippe, No Patents on Seeds! – Tel: +49 (0)172-8963858
Kerstin Lanje, Misereor – Tel: +49 (0) 1522959 73 50
Christoph Then, No Patents on Seeds – Tel: +49 (0) 15154638040

Note to the editors:
The demonstration is being planned in front of the EPO in Munich, Germany, on 26 October, at 11 a.m. CET. On November 8th, the EPO will hold another hearing and decide on a patent on tomatoes.


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11 Responses to “Patent on Broccoli will not be revoked – Monsanto tightens death grip on food”

  1. DSKi says:

    I can’t see any relationship between Monsanto and Sanitarium in Australia? I fact Sanitarium have a GM free policy and are Australian owned as far as I can tell.

    Monsanto have a nasty insidious grip on farming…

  2. JC says:

    I agree with boycotting many of the products made by these corporations, however I also am of the conviction that it is simply too late in the game. These things are only the beginning of the end of what the Bible tells us “will SURELY come to pass”. For those who don’t believe the Bible’s authority all I can say is, read it for yourselves. It is all outlined, everything that is happening before your eyes, simply open them and take a good look, then ASK HIM to show you great and mighty things that you do not yet understand. It is enlightening when this happens, I see all of this for what it is.. God Speed!!!

  3. James says:

    “People can put companies like Monsanto out of business by simply NOT buying their products and boycotting any producer using their products.” – Go to Monsanto’s website and view all of the products that come from that company. You will have to boycott hundreds of items. Getting the rest of the globe to follow along with a boycott will not be easy. Just the half dozen of us here will not make a dent with our boycott. There has to be another way to hit them in their pocket book. If Ron Paul is truly for the American people, then it is he that should have this brought to his attention. Add this to the list of things that he has promised to change for the better of the people and not for the corporations.

  4. amicus curiae says:

    curious that Aus released a similar product last year?
    nasty verbiage in patents on grains says: not only the patented plant BUT naturally occuring variants showing similar capabilites are also considered to be infringements…
    so they Steal the base plant matwerial in most instances for its INHERENT Natural benefits, screw it around, and then claim rights to not only their version but God Given natural varieties?
    and the USA govt approved and enforces it.
    there isnt enough semtex to go round. or rope.

  5. Paul says:

    People must start DEMANDING informative labeling of food products, to include GMO and plant and animal origins. This way, consumers can make informed decisions regarding their health and safety.

    People can put companies like Monsanto out of business by simply NOT buying their products and boycotting any producer using their products. This can only be done with proper labeling.

  6. Suzy says:

    May Monsanto Corporations feel the wrath of God for “Revenge is Mine” saith the Lord

  7. Avanti says:

    Mr. Spy, Mr. CIA, Mr. FBI: don’t you think you, your family, your friends are constantly targeted by many criminal corporations together with others that still free!
    You can change that target — to finish those atrocity actions.

  8. Avanti says:

    My advice for the members of Monsanto: be careful maybe those chemicals and GM products can change the mind of someones and they can shoot them.

  9. Rodolfo says:

    Monsanato o Sanitarium in Australia is just making his grip of Dictatorship of natural vegetables another reason for Revolution from the Vegetarians people of the World because otherwise Everyone will have to Pay a lot for just some natural vegetables like Brocolli and others that could fall in the grip of Monsanto/Sanitarium.

  10. Heinz Hoeke says:

    The only way Monsanto understands is FORCE!~ Destroy Monsanto to protect all people!

  11. Barbara Talbert says:

    I think this shows that the US has been working on the EU with their threats and also that the Agricultural Conspiracy is much larger than anyone knows. I am sure it is supported by some of the big banks and I wish that OWS were onboard in this fight. OWS right now is just dealing with the tip of the iceberg. The food and farm fight that we are trying to wage is part of the fight against Wall St.