Monsanto’s Patent Appeal Rejected by Indian Government, Saving Farmers, Food and Lives

Flickr-indian farmer-antkrizChristina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Monsanto’s attempts to patent further seeds and bankrupt entire generations of farmers and their families that have successfully farmed for centuries have been halted—at least in India—for now.

Less than a week ago, Monsanto got more than a slap on the wrist from the Indian government – they were delivered two fat rejections – one from the patent appeals court and another rejection that was upheld by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Dismissing Monsanto’s appeal were the Honorable Justice Prabha Sridevi, Chair of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board of India, and the Honorable Shri DPS Parmar, technical member. If you would like to personally thank these individuals for standing up to corporate greed and the domination of the world food supply, you can contact them via the web addresses listed below:

Intellectual Property Appellate Board of India

Monsanto’s patent application was refused for both“Methods of Enhancing Stress Tolerance in plants and methods thereof,” and “A method of producing a transgenic plant, with increasing heat tolerance, salt tolerance or drought tolerance.” The patent office refused the claims because:

“ . . .there were no ‘inventive steps’ and as of the Patents act of 1970. . .as structure and function of cold shock protein was already known in cited prior art and it is obvious to person skilled in plant to make transgenic plant; (iii) It is mere application of already known cold shock protein in producing cold stress tolerant plant and tolerant to heat, salt and drought conditions, claims fall within the scope of Section 3(d) of The Patents Act, 1970. (iv) The patent office found that it is not patentable under 3(j) as claims also include essential biological process of regeneration and selection, which includes growing of plant in specific stress condition.”

Part of the reason Monsanto was not able to pass their patents is because the 1970 Patent Act excluded patents in agriculture and medicine. The act had to be amended when India signed the World Trade Agreement (including sections covering Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights). Strong sections of the Act, like ‘what are not inventions’ in clause 3 and the especially 3d, “excludes as inventions the mere discovery of any new property or new use for a known substance,’ were key in Monsanto’s refusal. It was this same clause that kept the Novartis pharmaceutical company from patenting a known cancer-curing drug. They tried to challenge this in the Supreme Court of India, but lost. Many are saying that what the Novaris case is to our global Right to Health, the new refusal of Monsanto’s patents are the same Right to Seed and Right to Livelihood for farmers.

There are supposedly 27000 farmers who have committed acts similar to a farmer in Bhiwandi taluka, India, who consumed pesticide after his crops failed miserably due to draught and increased debts to companies like Monsanto. Farmers have been petitioning the Indian government to help lift them out of poverty. While not every farmer blames Monsanto directly, the majority of these farmer suicides happen in the cotton belt, where Monsanto controls 95% of the cotton seed supply with Bt cotton. The costs of the seeds jumped more than 8000% with the introduction of Bt cotton. If you haven’t already heard, Bt damages red blood cells.

Monsanto’s attempts to patent further seeds and bankrupt entire generations of farmers and their families that have successfully farmed for centuries have been halted – at least in India – for now.

This article was originally featured on Nation of Change.

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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6 Comments on "Monsanto’s Patent Appeal Rejected by Indian Government, Saving Farmers, Food and Lives"

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  1. brian says:

    pretty simple, click, click and send these guys an email saying thanks!
    How happy would you be that people all over the world took notice of what you are doing?
    It also lets them know we are watching as well.

    Please do this!~

  2. mona seering says:

    Thank you for allowing the people of your country the right to grow there own crops free from monsantos control. Why would we want to buy new seeds every year? Isn’t it peculiar that Monsanto seeds cannot reproduce? Don’t let them destroy your food source as they have done in America. Thank you for supporting the people.

  3. Reyanto says:

    Great thanks for showing a great example in how other parts of the world actually can don something against monsatan if they really wish to do so. I did send a thanking e-mail as it is the least that I can do right now besides spreading this great news.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Russia says no to GMO now India . While the US and Canada are all in . 92% GMO. Invest in beaten down Russia while the price is right.

  5. tom Bowden says:

    This is great news, one step forward. However, in Western Australia we have taken one step backward, most of our seeds come from other states in Australia, now the Government proposes to charge $56 for examining every seed shipment into the state, so bye bye Heirloom Seeds in this state.

  6. john says:

    Whos gives Monsanto’s the right to patent natural product you cant that is a lie. The corrupt U.S.A no I don’t think so they don’t own the world but sure do act like it. There laws only apply in the U.S.A not the rest of the world.

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