Nature and Environment

Because at 160,000 years, the party is just getting started.

Add to My MSN

'Climate-Ready' Crop Patents Threaten Biodiversity(2)

10/25/2010 10:47:23 AM

Tags:

The ETC Group has identified over 1663 patent documents that have been filed by some of the leading seed and agrochemical corporations, claiming “climate-ready” crops as the future of the world’s food supply — what some are calling “biopiracy.”

These patents, which are in violation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Seed Treaty, have raised concern from the Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO that these corporations may be attempting to monopolize the world’s plant biomass. It also raises concern about the future of the world’s food supply.

These patents claim environmental stress tolerance in plants — which includes drought, heat, flood, cold and salt tolerance — through climate ready crop genes. If corporations are allowed to claim ownership, not only would major crops contain engineered gene sequences owned by one major corporation, so would the processed food and feed products that came from that crop.

The group at the United Nations’ Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, said the patents could become one of the “broadest and most dangerous patent claims in history.”

Over two-thirds of these patents have been filed by only three companies: DuPont, BASF and Monsanto. And only 10 percent of the total patents are from public sector researchers. Many of the companies involved have placed pressures on governments to facilitate the use of these untested crop genes.

In an attempt to deter a negative outlook on genetically modified crops and to convince governments of its “legitimacy,” these corporations have donated a few of these crop genes to farmers in South Africa.

“In exchange for untested technologies, South governments are being pressured to surrender national sovereignty over intellectual property, biomass, and food,” Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group said in the report.



Related Content

Tell Obama and Vilsack that Monsanto's Roundup Ready Alfalfa is Not OK

Concerned about Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and genetic engineering of our food? Let President Ob...

'Climate-Ready' Crop Patents Threaten Biodiversity

A recent report noted concerns about top seed and agrochemical corporations that are placing claims ...

How to Rotate Crops in Your Vegetable Garden

Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.

Time to Plant a Cover Crop

Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.