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Old 05-08-2005, 11:45 AM
Beach Runner
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Default History in the making Monsanto gets a patent onf Pigs - step to controllingfood

Monsanto files patent for new invention: the pig
Greenpeace researcher uncovers chilling patent plans
02 August 2005

The Earth is flat, pigs were invented by Monsanto, and genetically
modified organisms are safe. Right.

Geneva, Switzerland It's official. Monsanto Corporation is out to
own the world's food supply, the dangers of genetic engineering and
reduced biodiversity notwithstanding, as they pig-headedly set about
hog-tying farmers with their monopoly plans. We've discovered
chilling new evidence of this in recent patents that seek to
establish ownership rights over pigs and their offspring.

In the crop department, Monsanto is well on their way to dictating
what consumers will eat, what farmers will grow, and how much
Monsanto will get paid for seeds. In some cases those seeds are
designed not to reproduce sowable offspring. In others, a flock of
lawyers stand ready to swoop down on farmers who illegally, or even
unknowingly, end up with Monsanto's private property growing in their

One way or another, Monsanto wants to make sure no food is grown that
they don't own -- and the record shows they don't care if it's safe
for the environment or not. Monsanto has aggressively set out to
bulldoze environmental concerns about its genetically engineered (GE)
seeds at every regulatory level.

So why stop in the field? Not content to own the pesticide and the
herbicide and the crop, they've made a move on the barnyard by filing
two patents which would make the corporate giant the sole owner of
that famous Monsanto invention: the pig.

The Monsanto Pig (Patent pending)

The patent applications were published in February 2005 at the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. A Greenpeace
researcher who monitors patent applications, Christoph Then,
uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on
methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as
the offspring that result.

"If these patents are granted, Monsanto can legally prevent breeders
and farmers from breeding pigs whose characteristics are described in
the patent claims, or force them to pay royalties," says Then. "It's
a first step toward the same kind of corporate control of an animal
line that Monsanto is aggressively pursuing with various grain and
vegetable lines."

There are more than 160 countries and territories mentioned where the
patent is sought including Europe, the Russian Federation, Asia
(India, China, Philippines) America (USA, Brazil, Mexico), Australia
and New Zealand. WIPO itself can only receive applications, not grant
patents. The applications are forwarded to regional patent offices.

The patents are based on simple procedures, but are incredibly broad
in their claims.

In one application (WO 2005/015989 to be precise) Monsanto is
describing very general methods of crossbreeding and selection, using
artificial insemination and other breeding methods which are already
in use. The main "invention" is nothing more than a particular
combination of these elements designed to speed up the breeding cycle
for selected traits, in order to make the animals more commercially
profitable. (Monsanto chirps gleefully about lower fat content and
higher nutritional value. But we've looked and we couldn't find any
"Philanthropic altruism" line item in their annual reports, despite
the fact that it's an omnipresent factor in their advertising.)

According to Then, "I couldn't belive this. I've been reviewing
patents for 10 years and I had to read this three times. Monsanto
isn't just seeking a patent for the method, they are seeking a patent
on the actual pigs which are bred from this method. It's an
astoundingly broad and dangerous claim."

Good breeding always shows

Take patent application WO 2005/017204. This refers to pigs in which
a certain gene sequence related to faster growth is detected. This is
a variation on a natural occurring sequence -- Monsanto didn't invent

It was first identified in mice and humans. Monsanto wants to use the
detection of this gene sequence to screen pig populations, in order
to find which animals are likely to produce more pork per pound of
feed. (And that will be Monsanto Brand genetically engineered feed
grown from Monsanto Brand genetically engineered seed raised in
fields sprayed with Monsanto Brand Roundup Ready herbicide and doused
with Monsanto Brand pesticides, of course).
But again, Monsanto wants to own not just the selection and breeding
method, not just the information about the genetic indicators, but,
if you pardon the expression, the whole hog.

* Claim 16 asks for a patent on: "A pig offspring produced by a
method ..."
* Claim 17 asks for a patent on: "A pig herd having an increased
frequency of a specific ...gene..."
* Claim 23 asks for a patent on: "A pig population produced by
the method..."
* Claim 30 asks for a patent on: "A swine herd produced by a

This means the pigs, their offspring, and the use of the genetic
information for breeding will be entirely owned by Monsanto, Inc. and
any replication or infringement of their patent by man or beast will
mean royalties or jail for the offending swine.

Not pig fodder

When it comes to profits, pigs are big. Monsanto notes that "The
economic impact of the industry in rural America is immense. Annual
farm sales typically exceed US$ 11 billion, while the retail value of
pork sold to consumers reaches US$ 38 billion each year."

At almost every level of food production, Monsanto is seeking a
monopoly position.

The company once earned its money almost exclusively through
agrochemicals. But in the last ten years they've spent about US$ 10
billion buying up seed producers and companies in other sectors of
the agricultural business. Their last big acquisition was Seminis,
the biggest producer of vegetable seeds in the world.

Monsanto holds extremely broad patents on seeds, most, but not all of
them, related to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Monsanto has
also claimed patent rights on such non-Monsanto inventions as
traditionally bred wheat from India and soy plants from China. Many
of these patents apply not only to the use of seeds but all uses of
the plants and harvest that result.

Monsanto's GMO corn threatens biodiversity.

Monsanto's GMO corn threatens biodiversity.
Orwellian: "The Earth is flat, pigs were invented by Monsanto, and
GMOs are safe."

The big picture is chilling to anyone who mistrusts Monsanto's record
disinterest for environmental safety.

And if you're not worried, you should be: central control of food
supply has been a standard ingredient for social and political
control throughout history. By creating a monopoly position, Monsanto
can force dangerous experiments like the release of GMOs into the
environment on an unwilling public. They can ensure that GMOs will be
sold and consumed wherever they say they will.

By claiming global monopoly patent rights throughout the entire food
chain, Monsanto seeks to make farmers and food producers, and
ultimately consumers, entirely dependent and reliant on one single
corporate entity for a basic human need. It's the same dependence
that Russian peasants had on the Soviet Government following the
Russian revolution. The same dependence that French peasants had on
Feudal kings during the middle ages. But control of a significant
proportion of the global food supply by a single corporation would be
unprecedented in human history.

It's time to ensure that doesn't happen.
It's time for a global ban of patents on seeds and farm animals.
It's time to tell Monsanto we've had enough of this hogwash.

Brian Thomas Fitzgerald
Tell Monsanto to stop patenting life

* Let Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant (no relation to the actor who plays
a sleazy corporate executive in Bridget Jones' Diary) and the board
of Monsanto know you don't want them patenting your food.

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