Ever so often I get the feeling that humanity and the American public in particular might be able to somehow dig themselves out of the mess they’ve created over the last 100 years or so. I just got another one of those feelings today:
The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected four key Monsanto patents related to genetically modified crops that PUBPAT challenged last year because the agricultural giant is using them to harass, intimidate, sue – and in some cases literally bankrupt – American farmers. In its Office Actions rejecting each of the patents, the USPTO held that evidence submitted by PUBPAT, in addition to other prior art located by the Patent Office’s Examiners, showed that Monsanto was not entitled to any of the patents.
There appears to be a concerted effort among the agribusiness giants (including Monsanto) to force farmers to become perpetual slaves to them through terminator seed technology and other biotech tricks. To paraphrase Kissinger: “Control the food and you control the people.” For the most part the US Patent Office has been a willing player in this campaign, but for once it looks like some bureaucrat forgot his or her job and actually stood up for the people.
This battle is not over, of course, so I’m still planning on learning how to grow food at home for this reason and several others.