But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto's greedy plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.
Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto's hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:
Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they'd use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, biotech companies are getting patents on the seeds and then charging farmers exorbitant royalty fees. And farmers can't even save patented seeds for replanting the next season -- Monsanto has sued hundreds of them for practicing the age-old art of seed-saving and plant breeding. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.
But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.
The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:
The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it's time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.
With hope and determination,
Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team
PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Conventionally-bred plants or animals should be exempt from patents, say MEPs (EU Parliament)
President of the European Patent Office gives green light for patents on plants and animals (No Patents on Seeds)
Monsanto: All Your Seeds Belong to Us (Mother Jones)
Seeds and Patents on Life (World Agriculture Report)
Structures and developments of the swiss and international seed markets through the a case study on certain vegetables varieties (Berne decleration, Swissaid and others) (German only)
Plant Patentability Questions Deepen In EPO Tomato Patent Case (IP Watch)
Tomato patent back before EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal (Europolitics)