Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-202-000"
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"Mr President, Mr De Gucht, your statement was very informative. Thank you very much. Sometimes, figures say more than words. Up to this point, as you have mentioned, the European Patent Office has granted almost 2 000 patents for plants and almost 1 200 patents for animals created with and without the use of genetic engineering. I would like to mention two prominent examples. The first is the approval of patents on barley which has been genetically modified and modified by breeding. This applies to the entire chain from the seed through to the plant and, therefore, affects both our farmers and our brewers, both producers and consumers. This example shows the devastating scope of the patenting processes. The second example concerns the so-called long-life tomato, which is not to be confused with the long-life oil in the engines of your diesel cars. The ploy used by the applicant, the US company Arcadia, enabled it to obtain a patent by circumventing current EU regulations. It was not the tomato that was patented, but its genetic material, in this case, selected enzymes. This shows the lengths that companies will go to, despite the fact that, as you have said, Mr De Gucht, Article 4 of the directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions of 1998 clearly states: The following shall not be patentable: (a) plant and animal varieties; (b) essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals. We are of the opinion that this definition should be made more precise. Technical processes used to support conventional breeding activities must not lead to patentability. We would like to make it quite clear that there must be no patents on life. We need to send out a clear signal that there needs to be a more ethical approach and greater honesty with regard to creation. I repeat: we are opposed to the patentability of life throughout Europe. Therefore, Mr De Gucht, we are calling for a clear statement from the Commission that patents on genetic material and genetic resources are, and will remain, banned. Secondly, we are calling for a clear position on Article 4 of the directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions: no patents on life. Thirdly, Mr De Gucht, on behalf of many farmers and breeders in Europe, we are calling for the breeders’ and farmers’ privilege to be clearly enshrined in all legislation."@en1
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