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Is this a joke, or a chilling look into the future?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
http://www.greenpeace.org/internatio...pig-patent-111
post #2 of 18
...I dont even know what to say to that......

Though i found this line rather amusing....

"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."
post #3 of 18
Oh oh oh! *waving hand wildly* Can I go ahead and patent air, water, and dirt before Monsanto gets their hands on that as well?

Geeze, how rediculous (and scary!) this is!
post #4 of 18
I don't have much time at this moment to get into the details on patent law but my reply to this is that Greenpeace is out to get Monsanto because of their research into genetic modified food. It started out with genetic modified seeds and so on. The design of not reproducing any offspring or in the situation of seeds being unable to reuse seeds actually came about in response to criticism that genetic modified food may cross breed with natural foods. They responded to it by preventing reproduction and now are criticised for it. I would not put too much credit to the way Greenpeace portray the facts in this situation.

As for the claim in the article that farmers accidently end up using the crops. The farmer's claim was that wind blew the seeds over and as a result it grew on his farm. I know of a person who worked on that case and let me tell you two interesting facts. The above claim is highly improbable because 1) Testing the entire field show that more than 90% of the field came from the genetic crop AND 2) the farmer was using a special chemical to spray the crops and that chemical is ONLY effective IF the crop was genetically modified.

I believe I posted a thread on a similar issue. If you search for "Monsanto" you migth find it if it was not wiped out in the Great December Deletion.
post #5 of 18
I put as much credence in what Greenpeace says as I do PETA. Oh wait...I put less credence in Greenpeace. They are seriously quacks.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I put as much credence in what Greenpeace says as I do PETA. Oh wait...I put less credence in Greenpeace. They are seriously quacks.

Really I had no clue that Greenpeace were space cadets...I mean PETA is a given ..But i really had no clue about Greenpeace....

are there any Advocate groups out there who DONT forget to take their meds...
post #7 of 18
More proof on how the media hoodwinks us all and that one really should only believe 1/2 of what they see and 1/4 of what they hear.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I put as much credence in what Greenpeace says as I do PETA. Oh wait...I put less credence in Greenpeace. They are seriously quacks.
Birds of a feather as it were ...
post #9 of 18
I don't know the details of that particular case, but it could be at least partly true.
Companies (particularely Monsanto) have been copyrighting plants, animals and genes. What they are doing in this case is probably copyrighting genetically modified pigs or particular methods of modifying pigs. Not pigs themselves (as the article seems to imply).

I do think there is a danger in genetically modifed organism - they have been very poorly tested for their impact on health or the environment - and on having copyrights on life.

I'm certainly not an expert on those issues... so if anyone can correct me or add some information, feel free!
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
I don't know the details of that particular case, but it could be at least partly true.
Companies (particularely Monsanto) have been copyrighting plants, animals and genes. What they are doing in this case is probably copyrighting genetically modified pigs or particular methods of modifying pigs. Not pigs themselves (as the article seems to imply).

I do think there is a danger in genetically modifed organism - they have been very poorly tested for their impact on health or the environment - and on having copyrights on life.

I'm certainly not an expert on those issues... so if anyone can correct me or add some information, feel free!
Since you asked. It is not copyright but patent. Generally and simply
Patent: For inventions, products, processes, etc
Copyright: Expression, words, pictures, software
Trademark: Brandname
They are all governed by different regimes and are all quite different.

All of the genetic modified crops have been extensively tested and if you are in the US there is a very high chance you have already consumed GM foods. After all it has been in the market for the past 10 years. But in any event, even in Europe, foods imported from the US may contain GM modified crops.

Also GM crops that are pest resistent results in actually less pesticides being used which helps the environment.

IF one is cynical, it could be argued that the reason for this uproar is because of trade policy between the US and the EU. A good proportion of GM products are developed in the US, which results in them having the patent rights to the products. Therefore given that it is now difficult to just throw up barriers to imports, the safety argument is being used as a barrier to trade. And with safety a government can carry on claiming that the test were not extensive enough or that long term studies are not done. All that is needed is to prevent entry to the market for a good number of years until the patent expires.
post #11 of 18
Monsanto is far from being innocent of genetically modifying or patenting their processes (however, look at any company and they have patents on their products, otherwise they would go out of business pretty quickly!). If I remember correctly, Monsanto came to the attention of greenpeace (in a national campaign) when a Canadian farmer (who was or is a local politician) launched a law suit against them claiming that 'somehow' Monsanto's canola seeds (which I believe are the non reproducing type or ruin normal reproducing crops or something) contaminated his non genetically modifed crop.

Monsanto charges a technology fee on crops planted and they claimed that he had 'stolen' their process by not paying the technology fee which was kind of backed up by the fact he had not bought the canola seeds from Monsanto's distributers, but it was present in his crop. The farmer claimed that Monsanto (or nearby farmers using Monsanto products) had blown it (accidentally or purposely) onto his crop from passing vehicles or fields.

It was settled in the supreme courts but neither really won, Monsanto's patents and technology fees were declared flly legal, but as it could not be proved that the farmer had stolen the product, he was not forced to pay Monsanto... so Greenpeace took it from there.

Personally, I am unlikely to believe anything that comes from Greenpeace or PETA, Monsanto is known for investing and donating billions into the environment and teaching children about nutrition in schools etc through the Monsanto Fund and that alone proves Greenpeace's statements to be very biased.
post #12 of 18
This is not surprising. More is to come.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21
Monsanto is far from being innocent of genetically modifying or patenting their processes (however, look at any company and they have patents on their products, otherwise they would go out of business pretty quickly!). If I remember correctly, Monsanto came to the attention of greenpeace (in a national campaign) when a Canadian farmer (who was or is a local politician) launched a law suit against them claiming that 'somehow' Monsanto's canola seeds (which I believe are the non reproducing type or ruin normal reproducing crops or something) contaminated his non genetically modifed crop.

Monsanto charges a technology fee on crops planted and they claimed that he had 'stolen' their process by not paying the technology fee which was kind of backed up by the fact he had not bought the canola seeds from Monsanto's distributers, but it was present in his crop. The farmer claimed that Monsanto (or nearby farmers using Monsanto products) had blown it (accidentally or purposely) onto his crop from passing vehicles or fields.

It was settled in the supreme courts but neither really won, Monsanto's patents and technology fees were declared flly legal, but as it could not be proved that the farmer had stolen the product, he was not forced to pay Monsanto... so Greenpeace took it from there.

Personally, I am unlikely to believe anything that comes from Greenpeace or PETA, Monsanto is known for investing and donating billions into the environment and teaching children about nutrition in schools etc through the Monsanto Fund and that alone proves Greenpeace's statements to be very biased.
That was the case I was talking about in my earlier post. The courts have consistently ruled that the farmer had knowledge or ought to have known that, generally speaking, the seeds he was using made use of the modified genes from Monsanto. The accidental claims so as to speak is was not a real point of dispute in any of the courts decision.

The then issue was whether did the presence of the genes constitute infringement and an analogy was drawn by the courts:
"51 Thus, possession was found to constitute "use" in Adair v. Young (1879), 12 Ch. D. 13 (C.A.), where a ship's master was sued for infringement in relation to the presence of patented pumps on his ship. The ship's owners had fitted the ship with the pumps but were not named in the suit. The master had no power to remove the pumps and had never used them to pump water in British waters. However, the court held that the master intended to use the pumps if the need arose. The court thus granted an injunction against use of the pumps to pump water." http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-sc...scr1_0902.html

One reason for not having to pay Monsanto was because was because it was determined that the modification provided no benefit to that particular farmer.

This particular case is a success for Monsanto manage to ensure that their patent was valid. This is especially if we examine it vis-a-vis the earlier Harvard Mouse case (creation of a mouse with a higher chance of getting cancer) where the Canadian Court ruled against such a patent.
post #14 of 18
Thanks for the clarification, I am going by media reports in Canada which were biased to begin with and being that I couldn't even remember his name I certainly don't know all the details of the case.

I just re-read your original post and i find the second point very interesting as the letters he wrote to the media were so much about him not knowing that the gm seeds were on his land althoug I do remember that independent tests showed the percentage much lower than Monsanto's testers figured at 90% but it was still over 50% which in my mind you would notice!
post #15 of 18
They have sued farmers over the patent issues listed for seed- so this honestly wouldn't suprise me. It's a pretty big deal here in Indiana.
post #16 of 18
Some of the things that worry me GM foods is that we still have no idea of what their long-term impacts on health and the environment will be. I know I already comsume a lot of it (even if it's not labelled) and I don't like being a guinea pig.

Also, Monsanto is the company that created terminator technology, that keeps the plant from producing seeds that can be saved for future years. This way, farmers keep having to buy seeds every year. This is especially harmful to farmers in the developing world who become dependent on Monsanto for their seeds.

I'm also pretty sure (though I would have to look it up) that Monsanto makes genetically engineered plants that are resistant to strong herbicides, which means that more herbicide is used with those.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using technologies (including possibly genetically modified organisms) to increase crops or especially to help with environmental problems. But before being overly enthusiastic about the new biotechnology (or a particular biotech company), I think we need to make sure that the new technology is safe.
post #17 of 18
I do not know the details of the farmer's case but have to admit I do not classify Greenpeace in the same sector as PETA - an organization I take with a huge grain of salt. (especially since they do not practice what they preach.) But some Greenpeace ppl I know - while definitely more militant than I (I prefer protesting and lobbying within the existing system tho Saul Alinski and his followers were not completely wrong about finding creative ways to change society.)

That said, I read this article some time ago and immediately thought of the Harvard Mouse. I hardly believe Monsanto - no slouch in the corporate profits department - is out to own the world or the "big bad company" portrayed by Greenpeace but I do have concerns about some of their practices. Genetic traits can hardly be considered food additives so they cannot come under the auspices of the FDA or in Canada, Health Canada and their counterparts in other countries. As Molly Ivens so eruditely and drolly pointed out a few years ago in her syndicated column "The U.S. Department of Agriculture is stuck with a dual role as both regulator of biotechnology and its ardent booster. As we learned with the old Atomic Energy Commission, which had the same conflicting roles over nuclear power, the result is complete bureaucratic impotence."

And the company has an unfavourable record in several countries regarding PCB's. For many years, they were responsible for most of the PCB's in the US and are under heavy fire in my native province of New Brunswick because of their manufacture of Agent Orange. There is currently a task force set up by the prsent Tory government to study and investigate this. The Conservatives in NB are no wide eyed radicals and they are no fans of this company's past policies either.

Here are a couple of examples of what I mean re PCB's:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...6648-2001Dec31

http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/mar99tokar.htm

While there iit is true that there love lost between the EU and certain US corporations, this really is a valid enviromental and ethical issue which needs to be carefully considered before we permit anyone a so called genetic patent!! Some farmers also wonder if some moves it has made recently in biotech are a business move to overcome losses the company suffered regarding its product RoundUp - a herbicide some scientists believe to be carcinogenic.

Then there is their purchase of Searle and the findings of some studies regarding aspertame but that is a whole other topic. It appears that while Greenpeace may be an protrusive representative of non traditional (some may say creative, lol) lobbying, these cases also demonstrate that the biotech industry - with other sectors - promotes genetic engineering, is itself no stranger to controversy.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21
Personally, I am unlikely to believe anything that comes from Greenpeace or PETA, Monsanto is known for investing and donating billions into the environment and teaching children about nutrition in schools etc through the Monsanto Fund and that alone proves Greenpeace's statements to be very biased.
Now why would a big multi-billion dollar corporation give away so much money like that?

Oh yeah, because they care.
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