Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dissecting claims about Monsanto suing farmers for accidentally planting patented seeds

| | June 1, 2018

Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman mounted an unsuccessful challenge of seed patents that protect Monsanto and other crop developers. Image credit: Aaron P. Bernstein for the New York Times

monsanto-corruption
A common criticism of genetically modified foods is that their seeds are patented. There are different aspects to this concern: some argue that there should be no patenting of any kind on seeds, while others argue that farmers should not be forced to repurchase seeds. It's clear that many misconceptions surround the topic of GMOs and patents abound.

Seeds for genetically modified crops are not the only ones that are patented. As documented by the US Patent and Trademark Office, there are many conventionally bred crops that are patented, as well as decorative plants and flowers.

Considering the amount of time, money and effort that it takes to create a plant through traditional methods that has the traits and qualities that the breeder desires, it makes sense to protect the investment through a patent.

This same argument applies when it comes to genetically modified crops. According to GMO Answers, the cost of generating a new genetically modified crop is $136 million of an average of seven years, and biotech companies rely on patents to safeguard their investment. These patents are protected through the World Trade Organization (article 27), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (also known as UPOV), and laws of the member nations. Whether or not these patents should exist in the first place is outside the scope of the GMO discussion and could be argued for most patentable or copyrighted items: software, drugs, books, etc........ To Read More.....


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