European Patent Office rules not to revoke Monsanto-patent

Press release - 6 April, 2005
The European Patent Office tonight decided to not to revoke the patent on Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy. The decision can pave the way for all biotech companies to patents on seeds.

The European Patent Office tonight contravened law, life and commonsense. They ruled against their own laws under the European PatentConvention (EPC), which prohibits patents on plant varieties andcommercially grown seeds.

They ruled against farmers worldwide, by opening the door for Monsantoand other biotech companies to further exert control over our foodthrough monopolies on the availability and production of crops.

And they ruled against common sense. The decision means if farmersstart growing Monsanto's seeds, the harvest could become the propertyof the company in the end.

Greenpeace will continue to oppose the application of these patents ona political level. European Governments should now take steps to ensurethat the EPC regulations are not further abused. Greenpeace urges for aglobal ban for patents on seeds.

Other contacts: Christoph Then, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International +49 171 878 0832