Monsanto loses wheat patent

Published: Monday 15 November 2004

-- Activists and farmers opposing patents on Indian agricultural products by the West have achieved rare victory. A patent on Indian wheat, held by multinational corporation Monsanto, has been revoked by the Munich-based European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO's decision is in response to a petition filed by three organisations--Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS), Navdanya and Greenpeace, Germany--challenging Monsanto's patent on Indian wheat variety Nap Hal. Monsanto could not file a contest against the petition. BKS president Krishan Bir Chaudhary said Monsanto had got the patent by transferring genes from Nap Hal to its Galatea wheat variety (see Down To Earth, 'Patent Mess', March 31, 2004, p 18).

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