Last month the European Patent Office’s Enlarged Board of Appeal, under the influence of big agribusinesses Monsanto and Syngenta, decided that naturally occurring plants, previously not patentable, should become patentable in Europe so that Monstano & Co. can extort farmers and make the associated monopoly profits that come from owning patents.
By patenting plants that occur through conventional breeding the companies are now patenting nature.
If you find a rare plant species, you can now file a patent on it.
With the way cleared for the dangerous mega-corps to obtain such patents, the European Patent Office (EPO) is about to grant 30 patents on plants derived from conventional breeding to Monsanto and its affiliated companies. Equally evil Swiss company Syngenta can expect to receive around a dozen patents very soon.
The patents cover regular garden vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, carrots and lettuce.
Leaving aside the important question of whether it should be possible to obtain patents on nature, there are other serious issues.
Like Monsanto trying to acquire Syngenta.
While its initial bid of $45 billion was turned down, the consensus is that Monsanto will go higher because it needs Syngenta’s broad variety of products.
It needs these products because glyphosate, which is the basis for Monsanto’s best selling product Roundup, has finally been proven to cause cancer in humans. The product is in the process of being banned around the world – at least in countries which are not being bribed by chemical giant.
A merger of the two companies would mean the combined entity would have all of the imminent plant patents mentioned above, representing a dangerous concentration of power in this important new area.
But the far more serious problem is with the EPO. The decision to extend patentability to naturally occurring plants was taken by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal. Yet the EPO is funded by patent fees.
This is a blatant conflict of interest – its in the EPO’s interest to grant as many patents as possible, regardless of the outcome for humanity.
The EPO also has the final say in all European patent decisions. There is no higher body to appeal their rulings to.
Once again, Monsanto, maker of chemicals such as Agent Orange, PCBs, Glyphosate and untested genetically modified organisms, is attacking humanity in order to make its shareholders rich.
And once again politicians are taking the money and looking the other way.