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Friday, August 31, 2007

 

Monsanto looks to patent pigs

‘In what critics call a dangerous power grab, the Monsanto Company is seeking wide-ranging control over swine reproduction methods in the form of patents which, if granted, would give the corporation economic rights over any offspring produced using those techniques.Documents obtained by Christoph Then, a Germany-based researcher for Greenpeace, show Monsanto’s attempts to secure broad intellectual property protection for swine herds. [..]

Monsanto spokesperson Chris Horner said that the company merely wants protection for its selective breeding processes, including the means to identify specific genes in pigs and use of a specialized insemination device. [..]

But Then, who has been studying patents for a decade, said that there is really nothing new to the breeding processes of which Monsanto is seeking to claim exclusive ownership; rather, the patents attempt to privatize farming techniques already in existence for centuries.

“There’s no invention in this,” he said. “It’s just normal pig breeding.”‘




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