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4-Patents: Greenpeace and Farmers join forces to protect our food from Biotech Industry buy-out



                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Greenpeace and Farmers join forces to protect our food from Biotech
        Industry buy-out
SOURCE: Greenpeace International
        http://www.greenpeace.org/press/release?item_id=821176&campaign_id
DATE:   5 Apr 2005

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


Greenpeace and Farmers join forces to protect our food from Biotech
Industry buy-out

Munich, 5 April, 2005 - The genetic engineering (GE) industry could come
a step closer to "owning" our food, through a disastrous decision by the
European Patent Office due tomorrow. Greenpeace and one of the biggest
farming organisations in Argentina are warning that a final ruling on
Monsanto Roundup Ready soy (1) could pave the way for all biotech
companies to patents on seeds.

The ruling will run in contravention of the European Patent Convention's
own regulations that prohibit patenting plant varieties (2). At a joint
press conference with the Argentine Federación Agraria Argentina in
Munich Greenpeace and the farmers were calling for a global ban on such
patents.

"Monsanto and the companies, which are part of Monsanto's seed-emporium,
have already been granted dozens of patents on seeds in Europe. The
companies are trying to gain complete control of agriculture, from seed
to food - and patents are the right tool for it" - said Christoph Then,
genetic engineering campaigner of Greenpeace International.

Such takeover would be a threat to traditional seed practices and would
be a direct violation of farmers around the world. In addition to the
patent applications, Monsanto is pushing for additional royalties on GE
soy after harvest in Argentina without even having any legal basis for
it. It is also feared that if the European Patent is upheld the company
will use the legislation to even charge Argentinean soy-shipments coming
to Europe.

"Countries which allow for patents on life give up their sovereignty on
their national resources and violate the rights of the farmers to use
their own seeds. Farmers who are sowing Monsanto plants have to be aware
that they are also growing the seeds of monopoly; this is true for Europe
and Argentina. The company is taking farmers prisoner and denying them
the chance to return to farming non-GE seeds" - said Eduardo Buzzi, the
president of Federación Agraria Argentina.

Greenpeace is concerned that patents on GE seeds are just a starting
point for companies such as Monsanto to take all kind of patent
monopolies on seeds, cultivation, harvest, food and seed production. The
actual market position of Monsanto and some other seed patent giants is
already so strong that in the near future even farmers in Europe could be
forced to grow GE seeds, because they simply will be offered no more new
conventional seeds.


Notes to Editor:

(1) The EP 546 090 patent was originally granted in 1996, but
subsequently challenged by Greenpeace, the "No Patents on Life"
organisation and one of Monsanto's competitors. It covers a large number
of genetically engineered plant species that are made resistant against
the Roundup Ready herbicide of Monsanto. (2) Article 53 of the European
Patent Convention (EPC).


Contact information
Judit L. Kalovits
Media Officer,
Ottho Heldringstr. 5. 1066 AZ Amsterdam
Tel No: +31.621.296.914

Christoph Then, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International
+49 171 878 0832


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  European Patent Office rules not to revoke Monsanto-patent
SOURCE: Greenpeace International
DATE:   6 Apr 2005

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European Patent Office rules not to revoke Monsanto-patent

The European Patents Office tonight decided to not to revoke the patent
on Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy. The decision can pave the way for all
biotech companies to patents on seeds.

The European Patent Office tonight contravened law, life and common
sense. They ruled against their own laws under the European Patent
Convention (EPC), which prohibits patents on plant varieties and
commercially grown seeds. They ruled against farmers worldwide, by
opening the door for Monsanto and other biotech companies to further
exert control over our food through monopolies on the availability and
production of crops. And they ruled against common sense. The decision
means if farmers start growing Monsanto's seeds, the harvest could become
the property of the company in the end.

Greenpeace will continue to oppose the application of these patents on a
political level. European Governments should now take steps to ensure
that the EPC regulations are not further abused.

Greenpeace urges for a global ban for patents on seeds.


Contact information
Judit L. Kalovits
Media Officer
Ottho Heldringstr. 5. 1066 AZ Amsterdam
Tel No: +31.621.296.914

Christoph Then, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International
+49 171 878 0832


                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Brazil, Latin American Soybean Producers to Charge Sale Royalty
SOURCE: Bloomberg, USA, by Eliana Raszewski and Andrew J. Barden
        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?
pid=10000086&sid=aqAKUdasQzdQ&refer=latin_america#
DATE:   4 Apr 2005

------------------- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/ -------------------


Brazil, Latin American Soybean Producers to Charge Sale Royalty

April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil, Argentina and other South American soybean
producers agreed to charge royalties on the purchase of genetically
modified soybean seeds, after deciding against royalties on the harvested
crops. Agriculture officials from South America, including
representatives from Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay,
announced the policy after an April 1 meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, to
study proposals from Monsanto Co., the world's biggest developer of
genetically modified crops. Monsanto had been seeking to have the
royalties charged on the grains after harvested, the Argentine
Agriculture Secretary said in a statement. The officials "agreed to
coordinate action to defend producers in the region from all monopolistic
practices that could affect their income," the statement said. Monsanto
shares fell $3.16, or 4.9 percent to $61.50 at 2:06 p.m. in New York.

--


GENET
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
In den Steinäckern 13
D - 38116 Braunschweig
Germany

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