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Outdoorsman and Hunter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at a local greenhouse last week picking up some plants for my garden. I also decided to buy some heirloom seeds she had for beans I want to grow and was discussing with her how to recapture the seeds at the end of the season.

While we were talking she was telling me that some open pollinated seeds are getting tough to find because the big agriculture companies have taken these seeds and have done a genetic scan of them and can now legally put a patented on them even though they have were an open pollinated seed and you have to pay them a royalty to use their seed. She said she didn't think it was fair that they were able to take stuff that was essentially free and start making money off it because they had a genetic map of it and were reproducing them, but in the process driving other open pollinated seeds off the market.

I haven't heard this anywhere else and wondered if those of you that are more knowledgeable about seed propagation (I am just a beginner) have heard about this as well. Doesn't really seem fair if it is true.
 

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just surviving
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It's part of the matrix. (illusion)
Open pollinated seeds are patented by the Creator of the Garden of Eden.
The truth will set you free.
 

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Apostle to the Orthodox
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That's mainly true of corn. It's being done by Monsanto, the products are called "Roundup-Ready" because they're genetically engineered to be resistent to Monsanto's herbicides.
 

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Banned
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old hand
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Monsanto owns the terminator gene. Delta Land and Pine holds the Patent for terminator gene technology, and was purchased by Monsanto several years ago.
I know that's what your google sources tell you, but:

http://www.evb.ch/cm_data/public/TPatentsSyngenta.pdf

http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/6147282.html

http://www.wikipatents.com/US-Patent-6147282/method-of-controlling-the-fertility-of-a-plant

Syngenta, the world's largest agribusiness firm, was formed on 13 November 2000 with the merger of AstraZeneca and Novartis.
 

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Sic semper tyrannis
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I know that's what your google sources tell you, but:

http://www.evb.ch/cm_data/public/TPatentsSyngenta.pdf

http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/6147282.html

http://www.wikipatents.com/US-Patent-6147282/method-of-controlling-the-fertility-of-a-plant

Syngenta, the world's largest agribusiness firm, was formed on 13 November 2000 with the merger of AstraZeneca and Novartis.
Google does, indeed, show the same thing.

But I got the information from here...

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=gm-161&scale=2#gm-161
 

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old hand
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Google does, indeed, show the same thing.

But I got the information from here...

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=gm-161&scale=2#gm-161
Interesting ... and I apologize for posting cheeky replies to you in this thread and others.

Patent #5,723,765 was granted to Delta & Pine about eight years prior to their acquisition by Monsanto.
Quoting your source:

The present invention involves, in one embodiment, the creation of a transgenic plant that contains a gene whose expression can be controlled by application of an external stimulus. it is possible to grow plants under one set of conditions or in one environment where one phenotype is advantageous, then either move the plant or plant its seed under another set of conditions or in another environment where a different phenotype is advantageous.
In other words, to have a cotton plant which where a particular trait (bollguard) is only desired during the first generation of plants grown from that seed (the subsequent generations would not carry the resistance to boll wevil)

Patent #6,147,282, granted to Syngenta:

The present invention relates to the chemical control of gene expression in plants. In particular, it relates to a method whereby receptor polypeptides in the presence of an appropriate chemical ligand regulate the expression of a targetpolypeptide in a plant cell, as well as to the expression cassettes encoding the receptor and target polypeptides and transgenic plants containing the expression cassettes ... controlling various traits of agronomic importance, such as plant fertility.
ie. they are really the same thing, accomplished through different methods
... but the Syngenta invention was developed specifically for the purpose of preventing child seed from germinating.

To be fair, I will acknowledge that the Delta & Pine patent was perfected prior to the Syngenta patent.

I think the point to take away from this debate is that there are many companies working on this scary stuff.
 

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The only way you can patent a heirloom seed is to change it first somehow, and then you can patent that change. The heirloom seed itself cannot be patented, just like aspirin cannot be patented.

The anasazi bean is not patented.
 

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Outdoorsman and Hunter
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
lanahi said... The only way you can patent a heirloom seed is to change it first somehow, and then you can patent that change. The heirloom seed itself cannot be patented, just like aspirin cannot be patented.
I have explored patents for my business (totally unrelated to agriculture) and that was my understanding of how a patent worked as well. That you had to somehow make something unique or different before a patent could be granted. The woman I spoke to at this greenhouse seemed knowledgeable and didn't mention if they had changed the seed before getting a patent, she said they just "scanned" it and had a genetic map of it and could now reproduce that seed genetically instead of collecting it from crops and because they did that was why they could patent it, but again, that flies in the face of what I know about patents. Maybe it is different for agriculture than other areas I am a little more familiar with.

In any case if I buy a seed and I can collect it at the end of the season and re-plant it and get the EXACT same plant year after year of doing this I can tell you I don't care where the seed came from I am not paying someone a royalty. To me doing such a thing is fundamentally unfair and shouldn't be allowed.

IMHO patents were designed to protect companies and people that came up with truly innovative ways of doing something and it was a way of giving them the ability to reap a limited financial reward for their efforts at research and development. A way to encourage people to innovate and improve, which is good for mankind. But if all they are doing is taking something God created and perfected and reproducing it in a lab and not innovating or adding value then they don't deserve a patent or any financial compensation.
 
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