Tell Europe to End Patents on Plants and Animals

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: European Parliament and European Commission

In an open letter to the European Parliament, individuals, NGOs and farmers’ organizations around the globe are insisting that patents on animals and plants be discontinued.

Ten years of patent law, they say, has caused serious concern over the negative effects of genetic modification of plants and animal on food, farmers, breeders and consumers, as well as its stifling of innovation and biodiversity.

The negative impact on innovation has resulted from the law’s ban on breeders' use of patented plants, animals or genetic material for further breeding. Seed patents have destroyed competition and forced smaller operations out of business - increasing farming costs, while decreasing consumer choices and agro-biodiversity.

Most alarming is the European Patent Office’s recent trend toward granting patents for conventional (non-GMO) plants and animals, which sets a dangerous precedent and amounts to an abuse of the patent law.

Tell Parliament to reform its patent laws and end patents on plants and animals.

We, the undersigned, join the No Patents on Seeds coalition in demanding tight restrictions on the patenting of plants and animals.

Europolitics says the coalition expects the European Parliament “to take the initiative to safeguard free access to seeds and breeding materials,” in order to prevent large corporations from “taking control over our natural resources, required for our daily lives.”

Even though, as Europolitics reports, the European Parliament earlier this year called for the Patent Office to stop granting patents on conventional plants and animals, the coalitions insists that “Existing prohibitions…can be easily circumvented.” Therefore the group says “clear and effective” prohibition is needed.

More specifically the coalition “urges the institutions of the EU to go for clear legal regulations to exclude from patentability plants and animals, genetic material and processes for breeding of plants and animals and food derived thereof.”

We ask you to please take these concerns seriously, and we thank you for your time.

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