The introduction of genetic engineering (GE) in plant breeding has been accompanied by the expansion of patent monopolies.
Companies have seized on the opportunity to extend the corporate control of agriculture through the patenting of seeds and plants. Increasing corporate control has meant the seed industry has been largely integrated into the agrochemical sector and an increasing number of patent litigation cases have been lodged. Choice for farmers has also been reduced and seed prices are skyrocketing. Seed giant Monsanto is especially criticised because of its predominant position and extreme enforcement of patent rights. Even in the US, where many farmers welcomed being able to cultivate GE plants, seed patent monopolies are a growing problem that has lead to several anti-trust investigations. Choice in seed has been reduced, prices are increasing dramatically and farmers are being taken to court by international companies.
Counting the Costs of Genetic Engineering - the report documents numerous case studies demonstrating the adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of genetic engineering, suggesting sustainable agricultural solutions instead.