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2016 07 Kein Patent auf Leben 250The European Patent Office (EPO) is currently examining a patent on salmon fed with specific plants (EP1965658). From a communication to the Australian applicant, the patent looks as if it could probably be granted within the next few months, according to the German campaign “Kein Patent auf Leben!”. The subject of the patent is the fish itself and its oil. It is claimed that foodstuffs derived from this salmon are expected to have a higher content of Omega 3 fatty acids which are often described as highly nutritious and healthy. Naturland gives its full backing to this campaign’s call for action to be taken against this patent.

The claims made to justify patent protection are highly dubious. “If animals are to become an invention because they feed on specific fodder, then soon all cows and sheep will be patented that graze on grasslands. Or even people, if they drink milk or eat fish,” says Ruth Tippe, spokesperson for “Kein Patent auf Leben!”.

2016 07 Kein Patent auf Leben 350Naturland fears, moreover, that such patenting practice could put the diversity of livestock and plants at risk and criticises the fact that farmers could be forced into a relationship of dependence by such patents and be subjugated to the market power of a handful of seed corporations and their patent status.

“Kein Patent auf Leben!” is calling attention to the fact that the market concentration of seed production corporations in such areas as the breeding of vegetables, maize and soya has already attained extreme dimensions: according to various reports, there are no more than five corporations controlling the market for maize seed in the EU and, in the case if vegetable seeds, the same number of corporations already controls 95% of the market in the EU.

An appeal is being made to consumers to make their voices heard against the planned patenting of salmon by participating in a mass mailing campaign. “Kein Patent of Leben!” has prepared a form letter which can be downloaded from the link to the coalition “No patents on seeds!”.


Supplement of August 4: Protest successfully - stay tuned is important!

After the criticism of many citizens and initiatives by the European Patent Office has now decided the patent again to check. This was announced by the Alliance "No patents on seeds!" in a communication of 3 August. “This is an important sign that the EPO is responding to public protests. But it is not yet an overall success. As soon as public attention shifts away, the EPO will continue to run its business as usual,” says Christoph Then for “No Patents on Seeds!” and warns at the same time:“As long as political decision making does not succeed in establishing legal certainty, further patents on plants and animals will be granted in future. And it is still possible that the patent on salmon may be granted after all.”

Pressrelease of "No patents on seeds!".