News :: Children & Education : Civil & Human Rights : Environment : Food
Syngenta Claims Multi-Genome Monopoly
Submitted by HT
Original Publisher: ETC Group
Syngenta’s 323-page application, WO03000904A2/3 claims monopoly control of DNA that
regulates flowering development, flower formation, whole plant architecture and flower timing
in rice – in up to 115 countries. But the claims are not limited to vital rice gene sequences.
According to a study prepared by Dr. Paul Oldham at Lancaster University (UK), the scope of
this massive patent application is virtually limitless – extending to flowering plants in general,
including those not yet classified by taxonomists. Syngenta’s claims extend to key gene
sequences of 23 major food crops annexed to the FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for
Food and Agriculture. “If all its claims are approved,” says Silvia Ribeiro in ETC’s Mexico
office, “FAO’s seed treaty will be virtually useless.” Dr. Oldham’s analysis is available on the
Researchers are just weeks away from completing a polished sequence of the rice genome. This
DNA blueprint of the crop that feeds half the world’s people is also the basis for identifying
similar genetic traits in other flowering plants. “Effectively,” says Kathy Jo Wetter, “the
completed rice map provides a template for most of the world’s major food crops. Syngenta is
arguing that since it can identify certain gene sequences in rice, it can monopolize the same
sequences when they turn up in other species.”
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