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Monsanto’s Patent Policies Restricted in Europe

Posted in Basic GMO Information, Crop Failure by stopmonsanto on July 17, 2010

Last week, Europe’s highest court decided that patents on DNA only apply to live plants.

Panna.org explains:
“The ruling comes as a result of a suit by Monsanto against Dutch companies who were importing soy meal from Argentina – where Monsanto doesn’t hold a patent and farmers can grow RoundupReady soybeans (designed to withstand heavy applications of Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, Roundup) without paying any of the licensing agreements or fees imposed on American and European farmers. After Monsanto found traces of its RoundupReady DNA in soy meal imported from Argentina to the Netherlands, the company filed suit in a Dutch court, demanding seizure of the imported soy meal. The Dutch court asked for a ruling, but Monsanto decided to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount after a preliminary opinion indicated that they would probably lose the suit. The European Court of Justice decided to proceed with its ruling in order to clarify the European Union’s biotechnology directive, which was passed in 1998.”

This recent court decision is wonderful news for it places restrictions on Monsanto’s patents and control of the food supply. However these restrictions are narrow and this ruling is just one small step in the right direction.

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