Skip to comments.Monsanto Slammed for ‘Fraudulent’ EU Patent on Non-GMO Tomatoes
Posted on 06/26/2014 7:00:29 AM PDT by Renfield
Representatives of the international coalition No Patents on Seeds! from France, Germany and Spain have filed an opposition against a European patent held by Monsanto on conventionally bred tomatoes (EP1812575). The patent claims tomatoes with a natural resistance to a fungal disease called botrytis. The original tomatoes used for this patent came from the international gene bank in Gatersleben, Germany. It was already known that these plants had the desired resistance and they were simply crossed with other tomato plants. Monsanto then produced a cleverly worded patent in order to create the impression that genetic engineering had been used to produce the tomatoes and to make it look ‘inventive’.
Text of the opposition and the patent
Further information on tomato patents
Because crossing tomatoes is not patentable, Monsanto deliberately rephrased the patent during the period of examination to make it appear as if genetic engineering was involved. However, careful reading of the patent shows that this is simply fraudulent. These tomatoes were not produced by transferring isolated DNA. The European Patent Office should have picked up on this, says Christoph Then for No Patents on Seeds!. This patent shows just how easy it is for companies like Monsanto to avoid existing prohibitions in patent law.
According to patent law, essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals are excluded from patentability. On the other hand, the European Patent Office routinely grants patents on genetically engineered plants. Monsanto already holds several hundred of these controversial patents. However, in this case, the tomatoes were derived from normal crossing, as described in the patent. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that such tomatoes can be created by genetic engineering because resistance to botrytis seems to be based on the combinatorial effects of several genes within the genome of the tomatoes. The relevant gene sequences are not known in detail. Thus, a desired gene combination can be achieved by crossing whole genomes, but not by transferring single isolated DNA sequences.
The opponents have also accused Monsanto of biopiracy: The original tomatoes came from an international gene bank in Germany that is supposed to safeguard the seeds for the common good in further plant breeding to ensure world food security. Taking seeds from international gene banks for filing patents on genetic resources and their native traits is nothing less than theft, biopiracy and abuse of patent law, says Francois Meienberg for Berne Declaration. Patents on genetic resources stored in international seed banks have huge implications for availability to farmers and other breeders and can substantially hamper or even block access to plants needed for further breeding.
The international coalition of No Patents on Seeds! is organising the opposition. Part of the coalition are Bionext (Netherlands), The Berne Declaration (Switzerland), GeneWatch (UK), Greenpeace, Misereor (Germany), Development Fund (Norway), No Patents on Life (Germany), Red de Semillas (Spain), Rete Semi Rurali (Italy), Reseau Semences Paysannes (France) and Swissaid (Switzerland). The organisations behind the No Patents on Seeds! coalition are concerned that such patents will foster further market concentration, making farmers and other stakeholders of the food supply chain more and more dependent on just a few big international companies and ultimately reduce consumer choice. No Patents on Seeds! is calling for a revision of European Patent Law to exclude breeding material, plants and animals and food derived thereof from patentability. The coalition is supported by several hundred other organisations.
Monsanto should be broken up and some of the leadership arrested for far worse..
Also in need of arresting are the CONgress critters whose pockets have been lined by Monsanto and other big businesses.
Follow the money !!
Biopiracy , that's a new concept to me, but the theft , use, and then charging extra for alledged patent fraud is , in fact , criminal business over-reach.
Then what happens when you try to grow the original international gene bank tomato here in the States for home or commercial use ?
Monsanto , the agricultural monolith , will come after you for patent infringement, sort of how they did several years ago
when a farmer saved seed from the previous years crop, and then replanted the second generation of corn, and was successfuly sued by Monsanto.
If you grew this tomato in the U.S., you could be successfuly sued by Monsanto as their patent is protected here in the U.S. with FedGovt.
John Boehner takes their cash, as do many other RINOs:
I work for a seed company; we do NOT sell ANY GMO seeds, but I can expect to be GRILLED at least once a week by a customer about Monsanto and if we buy anything from them. (We don’t!) Prior to my current gig, I worked for a non-profit seed company, specializing in heirloom (open-pollinated) seed.
Monsanto is NOTHING but trouble; it has become a front for something much, much worse.
Look and see how much they give to politicos (both parties) and you will see they will never be touched. They have more power than all the Soros of the world.
Any of you that are interested in gardening/cropping/preserving and saving seed, etc. should join Greeneyes and the FR Gardening Thread.
Also? Learn about saving seed and start your own little home-based Seed Bank. You’ll be glad you did! :)
With Corn, which is wind-borne pollinated agricultural crop ,
you cannot prevent cross-pollination anymore than you can control the wind !
And then Monsanto will come on your land , test your crop for genetic mutation ,
and then sue you for patent infringement.
It is 'legalized ambulance chasing' !
Excellent post. My daughter in N. Idaho has been fighting against a commercial “grower” that just moved into their rural neighborhood and is using poisonous pesticides. The state banned use of some of them this year. She’ll be interested to know that Senator Risch, James E (R-ID) took $3,500 from Monsanto—and so will her neighbors.
Southern Idaho is a Monsanto-ized mess, grows pseudopotatoes for McDonalds. I avoid Idaho potatoes altogether.
I’m certain that’s a problem in Wisconsin as well, because we are RIGHT behind you in potato production - pretty much the entire middle 1/3 of our state produces potatoes, onions and carrots to the extreme. Nothing prettier than a tater field in bloom, or a carrot field in frond. :)
I love growing potatoes myself. Both Kennebec and Red Pontiac keep really well for me. Just used up the last of last years crop a few weeks ago in potato salad. This season I’m doing winter squash in the potato patch for rotation purposes. With all of our rain, they’re pretty much just sitting there, but we’ve got plenty of growing season ahead of us. I rarely give up on my garden.
My ‘Bestie’ of 35+ years just moved from ID (south of Boise) to the pine forests (NE corner) of AZ. When she lived here, her garden was always SO much better than mine - but now I have the upper hand...only until she gets her raised bed built, LOL! :)
I love gardeners, but I don’t grow things. Just a couple of dracaena indoors and a lovely pot of catnip for his royal highness.
Luckily I can walk to Trader Joe, purveyor of well-priced organic fruits and veggies and meats.
Daughter and her hub have full-time jobs but do grow many veggies, lately in raised beds. I met a couple recently who have a year round veggie garden in raised beds in a sort of plastic walk-through tube. But they are about 70 miles south of my daughter and she doesn’t think she can succeed with that ‘way up north. Driving up to her place, you do go through a sort of temperature barrier. Suddenly it’s 10 degrees colder.
Have Dear Daughter check out the books by Elliot Coleman. He grows for market all year ‘round. In Maine!
Thanks for the ping and plug for the garden thread. I make sure to grow lots of heirlooms and save seed each year. You were so helpful to me when I was getting started. Thanks again.
You’re Welcome. Wish I had more time to spend here. Working for a living sure cuts into my other plans!
Genetically modified food: The new AGW.
They just might meet a little 12 gauge rocksalt surprise!