Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Genetic patents . . .

MONSANTO'S MONSTROSITIES? Seems that Monsanto has been really pushy about patents, with the result that WIRED reports "Supreme Court to Rule on Patents for Self-Replicating Products", as people have resisted Monsanto's demands for payment because some of their patented seeds have spread to their crops.

The Supreme Court is weighing in on the soybean patents, agreeing to hear an appeal by a Knox County, Indiana soybean farmer who was ordered to pay $84,456 in damages and costs to Monsanto in 2009 for infringing those patents.

Farmer Vernon Bowman’s dirty deed? The 74-year-old bought soybean seed from a local grain elevator that was contaminated with the patented seed, which he used to produce beans on his 299 acres.

There's a lot at stake here, for Monsanto and other corporations, including Big Pharma.


And maybe even more important, because according to WIRED, "Supreme Court to Decide if Human Genes Are Patentable". That could mean that you might not own some part of what makes you you.  Given Monsanto's track record, that's not impossible to imagine. Could be worse, though, like Orson Scott Card's "I Put My Blue Genes On" or the genetic slavery envisioned by SF authors like Frank Herbert or Eric Weber.

1 comment:

the salamander said...

Ah .. this is such fertile territory.. So many scenarios that would challenge Solomon.. or today's Highest Courts.

The standard scenarios of course are wind blown pollen pollen transported by bees, seeds dropped during transport, seeds dispersed by birds.

Now the original sample seeds that Monsanto experimented with ? They were 'public domain'? a gift from God? A naturally occurring organism? An evolving species?

The genetic modification seems to me to be an artificial self replicating parasite

I look at some of this legal wrangling thusly. When or where can you draw the line between being a grave robber versus being an anthropologist ?