70,000 signatures against patents on seeds handed to the President of the European Parliament
Strasbourg, 11.9.2012. In total, 70,000 signatures against patents on plants and animals were handed to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, today. The signatures were collected by the coalition No Patents On Seeds, which is being supported by several hundred organisations from all over Europe.
A spokesperson of the coalition, Ruth Tippe, demanded that effective action should be taken against the monopolisation of resources which are needed for food production: “European patent law is at a crossroads. The European Parliament has to take the initiative to safeguard free access to seeds and breeding materials. Large corporations have to be prevented from taking control over our natural resources, required for our daily lives.”
Within the next coming months, the European Parliament will take a decision on the so-called European Unitary Patent. The coalition of No Patents on Seeds, is demanding that especially the interests of small and medium sized breeders, farmers and consumers are respected by this new law. It urges that access to breeding materials as well as marketing of seeds and livestock cannot be restricted by patents and seeks legal clarification on this issue.
Furthermore, the European Commission is also expected to publish a report within the next few weeks about patents on seeds and animals, which should lead to further discussions within the European Parliament. Earlier this year, the German Bundestag and the European Parliament had both taken positions against more patents on conventional breeding of plants and animals.
Text of the petition which was started in March 2011 and the list of supporting organisations: http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/recent-activities/open-letter-members-european-parliament-and-european-commission