Editor's Note: Greenpeace has covered this issue in several 2005 reports,
launched the GM pigs Patent
"The Earth is flat, pigs were invented by Monsanto, and genetically
modified organisms are safe. Right."
Through more patent perversions such as the earlier "Terminator
Corporations' Suicide Seeds" Monsanto is blatantly continuing their
scheme of rounding up the food chain from A to Z!
"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 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."
Such blatant abuse can only continue if it is not challenged. Unfortunately,
the typical lack of response from the masses and the idle government oversight
is precisely why these perversions occur and continue. Sadly the only way to
counter these shenanigans is to collectively and openly flaunt these patents
Monsanto Files Patent for New Invention: The Pig -
original is here
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 fields.
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
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
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
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. 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 method..."
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
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.
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
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
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
Monsanto to stop patenting life.