“The world’s largest seed and agrochemical corporations are stockpiling hundreds of monopoly patents on genes in plants that the companies will market as crops genetically engineered to withstand environmental stresses such as drought, heat, cold, floods, saline soils, and more. BASF, Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dupont and biotech partners have filed 532 patent documents (a total of 55 patent families) on so-called ‘climate ready’ genes at patent offices around the world. In the face of climate chaos and a deepening world food crisis, the Gene Giants are gearing up… to re-brand themselves as climate saviours,” says a new report by the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group).
If the patents are granted, these companies that already dominate biotech seed would control most of the “climate-related gene families submitted to patent offices worldwide,” reports the Washington Post.
“When a market is dominated by a handful of large multinational companies, the research agenda gets biased toward proprietary products,” said Hope Shand, ETC’s research director, “Monopoly control of plant genes is a bad idea under any circumstance. During a global food crisis, it is unacceptable and has to be challenged.”
From the excellent Pesticide Action Network