Consumers Reject Patents on Foodstuffs

, by La Déclaration de Berne

The European Patent Office awarded Syngenta a patent on melons „with a pleasant taste“, after an opposition filed by another seed company to revoke the patent had been rejected. According to a poll among Swiss consumers a majority of respondents reject such patents as well as the food products they protect.

Non-governmental organizations, farmers’ organizations, breeder associations, and governments have raised objections against the patenting of crop plants for years. Patents monopolize food markets and rob breeders and growers of their freedom to use plant materials for breeding, thus crippling innovation and food security in the long run. With more and more patents awarded for conventionally bred plants, as well, this has become a very problematic issue with far reaching impact in recent years.

Read more on Berne Declaration and download the reports