Monsanto Superpigs by lsd12841

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									        Greenpeace reveals Biotech giant Monsanto application for global pig patent


Amsterdam/New Delhi, 2 August 2005 – Greenpeace researchers have uncovered patent
application from the biotech giant Monsanto which, if granted, would give the company world-wide
control over breeding of pigs and their off spring. Greenpeace warns that Monsanto’s aggressive
patent practices covering genetically modified (GM) crops and normal seeds threaten biodiversity,
endanger world food security and ruin the livelihoods of farmers and calls for the patent
applications to be withdrawn.

Speaking at an international conference on Biodiversity, Biopiracy and Patents (1), being held in
New Delhi, Eric Gall of Greenpeace International said: “Monsanto is once again trying to control
the food we grow. This is patenting life. This is abuse of patent laws and it is an outright offence to
farmers world-wide.”

Filed at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva (2) the patent application
stakes a claim on pig rights in more than 160 countries, including the UK, Germany, the US,
Russia, Brazil, Australia, China and India. If granted, US-based Monsanto will be in a position to
prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs with certain characteristics or methods of
breeding, or force them to pay royalties. The patents cover methods of conventional breeding and
also the screening for naturally occurring genetic conditions that can make pigs grow faster.

Monsanto wants to enter a growing market with an increasing consumer demand for meat products
globally. The Monsanto patents pretend to speed up breeding for higher economical profit. The
hitch is that these pigs and their descendants would all be patented – and royalties would have to
be paid to Monsanto.

Monsanto is already infamous for its aggressive marketing of GM crops such as GM soy and GM
maize, as well as for its far-reaching monopolies on all kind of seeds (3). Greenpeace wants
Monsanto to drop patent applications on farm animals and seeds, and stop the abuse of patent
law, bio-piracy, animal patents and seed monopolies. Greenpeace also launched a cyberaction
against Monsanto today.

“If this patent gets granted, Monsanto could control the normal breeding of pigs to a large extent,
without any real invention behind it. The experience farmers have with this company so far (4) let
them expect a further shocking exercise of squeezing royalties and suing farmers on global scale,”
warned Gall. “This patent application is so absurd we wonder what Monsanto will come up with
next?”


For more information
Eric Gall, Greenpeace European Unit GMO policy adviser, mobile +91 98 116 82601 (in India)
and +32 (0)496 161 582
Christoph Then, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International, mobile +49 171 878 0832
Judit L. Kalovits, media officer, Greenpeace International, mobile +31 621 296 914


Notes to Editors
(1) "EU – India Dialogue cum Strategy Session on Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge and
Intellectual Property Rights" conference between the European Union and India is held in New
Delhi, India on the 1-2 August 2005.

(2) Patent applications WO 2005/017204 and WO 2005/015989 were filed in February 2005 at the
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. There are more than 160 countries
mentioned where the patent should be granted, such as in Europe, Russian Federation, Asia
(India, China, Philippines) America (USA, Brazil, Mexico), Australia and New Zealand. The WIPO
itself can only receive applications, but does not grant any patents; it will forward the applications
to regional patent offices in the US, Europe or elsewhere. At this stage the patent are not granted
yet, but they could be accepted for example under European and US Regulation.
For the full document see:
http://www.wipo.int/cgi-pct/guest/ifetch5?ENG+PCT-ALL.vdb+14+1147748-
SCORE+256+4+20872+BASICHTML-ENG+1+1+1+25+SEP-0/HITNUM,B,,SCORE+2005015989

(3) The company has spent about 10 billions US $ over the last ten years to buy a large range of
companies involved in seed and agricultural production.
According to Greenpeace, such patents and monopolies lead to a decrease of biodiversity in
agriculture, endanger global food security and put pressure on farmers’ livelihoods worldwide. For
more on patents at http://archive.greenpeace.org/geneng/reports/pat/intrpat.htm

(4) The way Monsanto tries to control its genetically manipulated seeds such as herbicide resistant
soybeans by taking farmers to court has already led to worldwide controversies and protests.
Recently it was made public that Monsanto even tries to get additional royalties for harvests from
Argentinean soybean farmers exported to Europe by filing court cases in Denmark, claiming the
cargo of shipments was their intellectual property.


Take Action against Monsanto at http://www.greenpeace.org/no-pig-patent.

								
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