Thursday 30th of June 2016

considered private property rather than a common good...

eat your greens...

Stop patents on plants and animals!


The organisations behind No Patents On Seeds are especially concerned about increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity. These patents create new dependencies for farmers, breeders, food producers and consumers. These patents have to be regarded as misappropriation of basic resources in farm and food production and as general abuse of patent law. We call for an urgent re-think of European patent law in biotechnology and plant breeding and to support clear regulations that exclude from patentability processes for breeding, genetic material, plants and animals and food derived thereof.

http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/

 

In recent years, there has been a growing privatisation of agricultural sciences, which has also taken hold of public research. As a result, knowledge has increasingly become considered as private property rather than a common good. The IAASTD criticises the excessive patenting of knowledge, which is connected to this development, condemning the patenting of seeds and genetic information in particular.
The IAASTD questions the benefit of patents, both for research and the dissemination of knowledge, Original source and highlights the fact that patents increase the dominance of a small number of multinational companies. These companies stockpile patents on seeds, plants, animals and genetic information, and thus control international trade of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and natural resources through complex licensing systems. Their exploitation strategy for the new ‘raw material of knowledge’ mainly consists in barring others from using and further developing this knowledge.

http://www.globalagriculture.org/report-topics/seeds-and-patents-on-life.html

 

This is one of the reasons why out Turd Numero Uno is hell-bent in destroying the public CSIRO... Private control of stuffs...

 

stop patents on life forms.

 

Testbiotech calls for a stop on patents on seed, plants, farm animals and food


This week a global action is started against patents on seed, plants, farm animals and parts thereof including gene sequences and food. Over 100 organisations from all over the world are alerting the public and warning of the dangers of increasing monopoly rights on basic resources of farm and food production. Seed, plants and farm animals as well as food production chains are becoming progressively subject to monopoly rights imposed by worldwide patents. More and more patents have been filed, even including claims on conventional breeding of plants and animals. These are actually being claimed by industry as their inventions!

If this trend is not stopped, these developments will impact on farmers, small-scale breeders, food producers and consumers. Leaving the control over seeds to multinational corporations means leaving decisions on choice in the food market and the way food is produced to those whose first aim is to make a profit, not provide food security. Farmers in particular are increasingly dependent on agrochemical and seed corporations. Breeding is becoming more difficult as access to genetic resources is hampered by the restrictions that patents impose. This situation will result in fewer innovations urgently needed for food safety.

The US company Monsanto recently filed patent application WO2008021413, which – in more than 1000 pages - makes 175 claims to misappropriate various gene sequences and genetic variations, especially in soy and maize. Monsanto even goes as far as to explicitly claim all relevant maize and soy plants inheriting those genetic elements and its uses in food, feed and biomass.
In a further patent application, WO 2009011847, Monsanto makes broad claims covering methods for cattle breeding, for the animals themselves as well as “milk, cheese, butter and meat”. These patents and many others filed by various companies such as Dupont and Syngenta are the reason why Testbiotech is calling upon politicians and patent offices around the world to ensure that such patents cannot and will not be granted.

https://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/352

 

Gus: In the toon at top I inserted something rather innocuous: MODIFIED LIKE GOD DID NOT INTEND TO... I am an atheist, but I am trying to rally all the religious people around the world against this patenting of life forms — whether as food or otherwise. Religious people in churches, in mosques, in temples should be up in arms about what science and greed is doing to god's work... Go go go, fight these patents... Make them suffer! 


The major point of tampering with the seeds of crops has nothing to do with yield improvement but all to do with the "ownership of the seeds"... This is done by creating a system of weed killer, promises of better returns in conjunction with "patented" seeds. Original seeds thus eventually disappear or are contaminated with the pollen of patented seeds, making it easy to pollute and control the system...

 

the judges erred on the wrong side of nature...

Gene patents are a matter of enormous public interest and concern to the medical community to ordinary Australians who are shocked to find that their genes are owned by an unknown corporation."  

Ms Gilsenen said they will be considering their options after considering the judgment in detail.

"It has long-term consequences for research and genetic testing and the patent is preventing other companies doing research that might help save lives," Ms Gilsenen said.

In 2013, a nine judge panel in the US Supreme Court ruled that genes extracted from the human body were not eligible to be patented.

Patent lawyer and Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at Murdoch University, Dr Luigi Palombi, said the Federal Court's "decision ignores the bedrock principle of 400 years of patent law".

"Only an invention can be the subject of a patent. The decision ignores the scientific facts. It ignores good policy. And it ignores common sense. Australian ingenuity in the biological sciences is now handcuffed by this decision," he said.

"How is it possible that the US Supreme Court unanimously came to the exact opposite result in only three months? Despite the attempt by the Full Federal Court to try and differentiate the precise claims between the Australian and US patents that Myriad has over the BRCA 1 genetic mutations, the so-called invention is the same.

"At the end of the day, the Australian patent claims pieces of genetic material (BRCA 1 gene mutations) extracted from the human body are an 'invention'. How is that something anyone invented?

"American scientists, universities and companies now have the freedom to ignore patents over isolated biological materials that are not 'markedly different to any found in nature', but Australian scientists, universities and companies cannot.

"This decision reinforces the need for the Australian Parliament to change patent law in Australia."

The Australian Cancer Council (ACC) has released a statement saying that gene patent laws needed to be changed to protect healthcare consumers from gene monopolies.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-05/court-dismisses-gene-patent-appeal/5722202

Pity... It's obvious that these judges have no idea about the concept of what they are promoting. THEY ARE SIMPLY WRONG when they say: "expressions such as the work of nature or the laws of nature are unhelpful when dealing with claims of a kind in this case"... That takes the cake of dumbness and idiocy in the understanding of the mechanics of the world... Genetics should be a public domain. A natural public domain. the decision of these judges is like telling god "Sorry mate, but life is not your property anymore..."

As I am an atheist, I would still maintain that life is the property of nature — that is public natural domain, no matter how fiddled with by technology. The big pharma and techo firm needs to find other source of revenue than to patent the non-patentable.

These Judges live in ivory towers that are protected by either idiotic laws or by narrow-minded understandings of such. They read too many law books and spend not enough time looking at nature.

My views... and prepared to defend them to the last free monkey standing.

See article at top...

US$45 billion for planet poison...

In trying to swallow Syngenta, Monsanto is putting its money where its mouth isn't—that is, it's contradicting years of rhetoric about how its ultimate goal with biotech is to wean farmers off agrichemicals. The company has two major money-making GM products on the market: crops engineered to carry the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, which is toxic to certain insects but not to humans; and crops engineered to withstand the herbicide glyphosate, an herbicide Monsanto sells under the brand name Roundup.

 

The company markets both as solutions to farmers' reliance on toxic chemicals. Bt crops "allow farmers to protect their crops while eliminating or significantly decreasing the amount of pesticides sprayed," Monsanto's website declares; and its Roundup Ready products have" allowed farmers to ... decrease the overall use of herbicides."

Both of these claims have withered as Monsanto's products have come to dominate US farm fields. Insects and weeds have evolved to resist them. Farmers have responded by unleashing a gusher of pesticides—both higher doses of Monsanto's Roundup, and other, more-toxic chemicals as Roundup has lost effectiveness.

Monsanto's lunge for Syngenta and its vast pesticide portfolio signals that the company thinks more of the same is in the offing.

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/05/monsanto-syngenta-merger-45-billion-pesticides

Imagine for a second that we'd allowed more poisons to be used on this planet from about 60 years ago?... The place would be awash with dangerous crap everywhere, from DDT to agent orange and what has not been used yet but could have been... Maybe this would have been a good thing... Humanity would have gone bonkers and degenerate, many of us would have died off or be unable to reproduce — and nature would have changed itself to cope for a while, until the poisons "disappeared"... 

 

See toon at top

 

pissing to detect monsanto...

The contest was to see how much of the weed killer could be detected in their urine. Around 140 parliamentarians submitted urine samples that will be analyzed over the coming week. The anonymous results will show how much of the substance the European political representatives have in their bodies.

The stunt, led by parliamentarians from the Green party, was meant to put pressure on their peers ahead of a controversial vote on a resolution calling for the European Union to pull authorization for the substance when its 15-year review comes up in June. The parliamentarians say recent studies linking the weed killer to cancer mean a reauthorization is too risky.

http://www.dw.com/en/pissing-contest-over-glyphosate-in-europe/a-19185554

imagine...

 

Sir, Madam,

Imagine your child or your partner becomes ill. The doctors diagnose a cancer which they think is linked to the large-scale use of pesticides in your region, or to the regular ingestion of small amounts of these products found in our food.

You, your family, the doctors and independent scientists ask the company that produces these products to provide them with the details of the tests and studies that were used to authorise their sale in order to understand what has happened, and maybe even find a way to save your sick child or partner's life and avoid such tragedies from happening again in future.

However, the agrochemical company refuses to release the information.

Thanks to the Trade Secrets Directive that the European Union is on the verge of passing into law (1), that is what is about to happen: no one will any longer be able to oblige them to provide this information of vital importance for the health of millions of people – under the pretext that this information will contain valuable data which will ensure large, long-term profits for the business in question!

Even worse: journalists or scientists who might dare to make public this confidential information, classed as ʺtrade secretsʺ, could be taken to court and risk incurring a huge fine and up to five years in prison!

This absurd nightmare is an imminent reality that threatens Europe and all its inhabitants, YOU AND I INCLUDED

After years of intensive lobbying, a small group of agrochemical and pharmaceutical multinationals is about to achieve its objective.

A draconian European Union directive is on the verge of definitively preventing us, we the citizens,  journalists, whistleblowers, doctors and independent scientists...from accessing all the scientific data required by legislation for the placing on the market of a pesticide or a new medication.

We are talking about the new 'Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure', which has just been approved by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 14 April 2016, and which will be voted on definitively by the Council next month.

  This is an unprecedented assault on freedom of information and our right to protect our health and our environment

Whatever the arguments that might serve to justify this directive, its objective is extremely clear:

**Guaranteeing, by introducing this new right to secrecy, that the interests of multinationals will always be prioritised over the general interestand the interests of citizens...

**Making authorisation dossiers even more opaque in order to facilitate the placing on the market of pesticides and pharmaceutical products and keep them on the market for longer...

**Ensuring billions in profit for the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries for years to come, and preventing other big health and environmental scandals from blowing up, ensuring that their products cannot be removed from sale.

Multinationals have been dreaming for years of imposing such measures.

They have already succeeded in part in placing the system in lockdown and preventing citizens and independent researchers from investigating their affairs:

You have perhaps heard about the glyphosate affair, the main ingredient in Monsanto's famous RoundUp, the highly controversial herbicide,which is also the most widely used in Europe and in the world.

A WHO (World Health Organisation) report has just denounced  the product in question in an alarming analysis in which it is suspected of causing cancer in agricultural workers, and in the population at large...

...and meanwhile:

The European Union, for its part, has judged it to be ʺimprobableʺ that the denounced herbicide be responsible for these problems, and – based on the controversial scientific studies financed by Monsanto – authorised its sale throughout Europe (2)!

When independent laboratories ask for access to these studies in order to carry out a second opinion and be sure, they receive a categorical refusal: these studies contain data classed as ʺtrade secretsʺ, and it would be against the interest of the company to divulge them.

According to the European Union, the authorisation for sale of a pesticide should be conducted based on the ʺgood faithʺ of a multinational that makes billions annually in profits thanks to this very product. It's astounding!

Another recent case which should worry us:

A case in Rennes, France, which was widely covered in the media: a volunteer for a clinical trial died due to a treatment they were testing. Scientists are today asking for the publication of data from the clinical trial in question in order to understand what exactly happened. But the pharmaceutical laboratory concerned, Biotrial, refuses to comply, with the pretext that it must protect its ʺtrade secretsʺ.

What the lobbyist want to obtain today is that all these morally indefensible practices be officially engraved in stone by way of a European directive that makes all opposition and legal recourse impossible in future.

How do multinationals manage to impose so easily their will on an entire people?

It's difficult to believe, but:

The Trade Secrets Directive is the last stage of a plan drawn up in utmost secrecy by lobbyists, hand in hand with the European Commission, in order to guarantee that neither citizens, nor independent researchers will be able to get in their way while they commercialise pesticides  harmful to pollinators, the environment or even human health.

For more than three years, lobbyists have dictated, almost line by line, their law to the European Commission.

The NGO Corporate Europe Observatory, which campaigns against the influence of lobbyists within the European institutions, has been following the legislative process. What is set out in its report (3) on the subject is edifying:

- The group that drafted the Trade Secrets Directive was composed of just two members of the European Commission staff, alongside an armada of experts, consultants, legal advisers and lawyers working directly for industry;

- The exchange of emails that have been leaked between the Commission and the lobbyists shows clearly who was in charge all this time: the lobbyists dictate and the Commission implements;

- Representatives of civil society were carefully excluded from the debate from the start of the negotiations. They have not even been kept informed regarding meetings during which the directive was drawn up, whearas industry lobbyists were invited at regular intervals by the Commission  to give their opinion on the work being undertaken.

We are talking clearly about a directive specifically for lobbyists and by lobbyists, which aims to ensure that citizens, their organisations and independent scientists will no longer be able to stick their nose into their affairs.

But there remains hope for stopping the lobbyists from definitively making this law in Europe.

Despite the betrayal of MEPs a few days ago, when they decided to place the interests of multinationals ahead of the those of citizens, who they are supposed to represent, by adopting the text dictated by lobbyists...

...nothing is decided yet for certain: there still remains a decisive vote within the Council of the European Union. 

A collection of NGOs, trades union and representatives of European citizens (6) have launched a call for the European institutions to reject in its entirety the Trade Secrets Directive.

At POLLINIS, we have decided to throw all our efforts into this battle in order to make sure that politicans hear loud and clear the voice of European citizens.

With the help of our members and sympathisers, we have launched a lightning campaign: within a few hours, our petition against the lobbyists directive received 150,000 signatures

We need this campaign to spread as widely as possible in order to rapidly reach the one million persons mark throughout Europe. This is the only way to place enough pressure on the members of the Council in order to succeed in having this shameful directive abandoned.

Thus it is that I'm calling on you today:

The lobbyists have happily been sitting on billions and paying enourmous sums to consultant in order to influence European decision-makers...

...we are 500 million European citizens. And it is from us that they draw their legitimacy! 

It is about time that they were reminded of this...

Make a powerful symbolic gesture now by signing the petition against the new European Trade Secrets Directive in order to protect citizens and ensure respect for the right to freedom of information, and rally together as many other people as possible, so that together we end up having a greater influence than that of the lobbyists! 

The vote in the European Parliament took place discreetly, a few days ago, and the majority of people in Europe continue to be unaware of what is taking place behind their backs and the dramatic consequences that it implies for their future and that of their children.

This is why I really am counting on you to sign the petition, and help me to inform as many people as possible, in France and in all European countries, who you can assist us in reaching.

It is only in actively fighting for our rights that we can stop this initiative, jointly conceived by multinationals and the European Union.

Our organisation is preparing to launch the petition in various European countries. But we need you to spread it as fast as possible and to as many people as possible: copy the following links, and send them to your friends and contacts throughout Europe:

Link to the petition in French: info.pollinis.org/fr/NoToxicBizSecrets-Consilium

Link to the petition in English: info.pollinis.org/en/NoToxicBizSecrets-Consilium

It is not a question here of saying that businesses do not have the right to want to protect themselves from illegal copying of their research and their inventions. Intellectual property rights have existed for a long time in order to meet these needs.

But that is not what we are dealing with here: in this new directive, the right to secrecy serves as a pretext for justifying a complete lockdown of the system to the benefit of a few multinationals, and the denial of any right of recourse or to information on the part of citizens!

If you do not make your voice heard by signing this petition, the European bureaucrats will deduce that no one minds this incredible reversal of the general interest.

They think that this enormous gift that they are making to the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industry, in particular, will not draw the attention or the indignation of anybody.

So please, express yourselves. It's the moment of truth.

Your signature will give a decisive democratic legitimacy to the steps that organisations will be able to undertake in terms of legal action.

 

 

And after having signed the petition, send this message to everyone you know. Tell them that it is time to act – there really isn't time to lose.

Thank you in advance.

Nicolas Laarman

Managing Director

 

Références :

  1. Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure
  2. "Ordered by about twenty agrochemical firms brought together under the Glyphosate Task Force (GTF) and represented by Monsanto, these studies have been kept secret until now... […] Whereas the EFSA delivers its recommendations based partially on the studies delivered by the GTF, which have been kept confidential, the CIRC based its analysis on studies published in scientific publications, conducted by researchers from the academic world." In Roundup : Bruxelles demande à Monsanto de rendre publiques ses études, Stéphane Foucart, Le Monde April 7, 2016
  3. Towards legalised corporate secrecy in the EU? Corporate Europe Observatory 28 April 2015
  4. For the complete list, check the CEO website 



UPDATE:

Sir, Madam,

What has just happened is very serious: on Thursday, the European Parliament adopted the Trade Secrets Directive, dictated by lobbyists in order to facilitate their placing on the market of pesticides and pharmaceutical products without being accountable to anyone: not to citizens, farmers, the sick, independent scientists or even the health authorities that are supposed to control them.

MEPs have approved the lobbyists law!

It is a genuine betrayal of the general public interest, and that of the citizens who they are supposed to represent, to the benefit of industry and their billions in profits. Only a massive and immediate mobilisation of citizens across Europe can bring to a stop this seizure of power by lobbyists in Brussels:

We have just one month left before the final vote in the Council of Ministers of the European Union – it is they who will in the end decide whether to definitively approve or not, on behalf of their governments, the Trade Secrets Directive.

With your help, we will need at least one million citizens to put pressure on the Council and the governments of Member States of the European Union in order to obtain a rejection of the text.

It is possible: in the first 24 hours, we succeeded in colecting 150,000 signatures!

So sign without delay the petition to the Council, and forward this email to as many people as possible in order to make them aware of the situation so that we can rally together as many citizens as we can to oppose the lobbyists directive!