No Patents on Seeds, 17 December 2015
Resolution urges the EU Commission to take action
In a resolution backed by a large majority of its members, the European Parliament has taken a clear position against granting patents on plants derived from conventional (“essentially biological”) breeding. In its statement, it says that these plants, seeds, native traits or genes should be excluded from patentability. Furthermore, plant breeders should not be blocked by patents from accessing biological diversity needed for further breeding. The members of European Parliament are further insisting that prohibitions in existing European patent law to exclude patents on plant varieties and conventional breeding, are not undermined by the kind of false interpretation currently followed by the European Patent Office (EPO). Not long ago, the EPO granted several patents on tomatoes, pepper and broccoli derived from crossing and selection.
The resolution also expresses concerns that patent monopolies are a threat to global food security and may hamper breeders in efforts to tackle climate change. The patents are seen as being against the interests of small and medium breeders. With this resolution, the European Parliament has reaffirmed a similar resolution from May 2012.