No Patents on Seeds

EU governments urged to take legal action.

Munich, 26.10.2011. Three hundred people representing a broad range of environmental activists, farmers and development organisations held a protest against patents on seeds and animals outside the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich. With six meter long flying vegetables, a stall with patented broccoli and agricultural machinery, the focus of the protest was the sell-out of resources needed for daily living. After the EPO announced that the patent on the broccoli (EP 1069819) would not be revoked, speakers from various organisations are now looking for political action. Speakers at the demonstration included representatives from organisations such as Friends of the Earth, the German Family Farmers Organisation, the international coalition of “No Patents On Seeds” and others.

Speakers urged politicians to take legal action against the patent. After the patent is finally granted at the EPO, it can still be challenged in the national courts of its Member states. “We demand that European Governments as well as the German Minister for Agriculture and European colleagues prepare for legal action against the patent. Granting patents on plant varieties or on conventional breeding is prohibited within Europe. This patent is in conflict with both prohibitions. If the existing patent law is so inadequately worded that any legal challenge is bound to fail then it has to be changed. This is the only way to protect the interests of consumers, farmers and breeders,” says Christoph Then, patent expert for Greenpeace and one of the speakers of the coalition of “No Patents On Seeds.” 

Speakers from development organisations are also warning against the consequences for less developed countries that are already suffering from speculation with agricultural resources and soaring food prices. “In making these decisions the European Patent Office is playing an irresponsible game. Breeders as well as farmers can only assume their responsibility for world food security if they have free access to seeds. The ongoing rise in food prices must not be further fueled by patent monopolies,” says Francois Meienberg from Berne Declaration (Switzerland).

Recent research carried out by Ruth Tippe from the initiative “No Patents on Life!” found that further patents with claims on bread, flour and noodles (EP1331845) and cucumber (EP1433378) are due to be granted. “The EPO is about to grant further patents very soon. For example, on 2 November a patent will be granted to Bayer claiming cucumber derived from conventional breeding. If this development is not stopped, there will soon be patents on air, light and love.”

Pictures of the demonstration HERE.

Francois Meienberg 0041 797967612,
Christoph Then 0049 15154638040,
Ruth Tippe 0049 1728963858

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7 Responses to “Protest against Patent on Broccoli at the European Patent Office”

  1. alanborky says:

    There was a recent incident

    where a soybean farmer lost his case after the bag of undifferentiated commodity seed he used also turned out to contain patented Monsanto seed.

    Two questions went unasked at the time: 1)how did highly protected Monsanto seed get loose in the marketplace in the first place; and 2)how the hell did Monsanto find out?

    The clear implication here is if enough Monsanto patented seed keeps ‘accidentally’ escaping then eventually there’ll ONLY be Monsanto crops out there and agriculture independent of Monsanto’s control’ll become extinct.

  2. James, “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. ” (

  3. james says:

    who the f==k is behind the patent

  4. Peter Pan says:

    I am surprised the scumbags haven’t patented the air and water yet. When the hell people are going to get educated enough to stop eating and buying the GMO crap so that we can drive these gangster out of existence. Otherwise they will slowly but surely kill us. Agenda 21.

  5. Su says:

    Let them patent GMO food.We do not care about this garbage.Let them use GMO as their food,but we are not going to consume this garbage.

  6. Su says:

    You can’t patent anything what Mother Nature gave us, humans for free.Whoever wants to “patent”mother Nature gift is not human.

  7. Barbara Talbert says:

    This is as outrageous as the ban on labelling bio-engineered transgenic food in the US. More and more outrageous things happening every day. We all know they are so wrong.