Monday, February 25, 2013

Should Monsanto own patent rights on the elements of life? - Los Angeles Times

Should Monsanto own patent rights on the elements of life? - Los Angeles Times:

Few people realize how patent intensive the food industry has become.

The top 10 seed companies account for 2/3 of all seeds sold.

A huge % of the seed sold are patented. Wow!

"Over an 11-year period, the cost per acre of planting soybeans has risen a dramatic 325%." Ouch!...
BUT if the yield is improved, then the added cost to sow is well justified.

Remember that genetically modified  (GMO) can/possibly be patented, organic not.

But owning a gene and the patent on all activity to monitor/manage/tread based on that gene has interesting implications.  You can expect the pharma industry to watch this law suit in plants very closely.

Keywords: GMO, organic, plant patents, Monsanto, seeds, farming, law suit,  genes,

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  1. Has the improved yield justified the increase in cost?

  2. eGolnc asks a great question. Two questions really.
    First, do farmers include the yield of the crop in their decision to buy GMO seeds. One would certainly assume, YES!. The seeds are a small part of the cost of farming. Water, pesticides, herbicides, and yield in the end. The drought-resistant crops produced at least some yield in the big drought of 2012. Good decision for those farmers.
    But the other "implied" question is related to GMO itself? What are the hidden costs, if any, of GMO to include in the costing mix? That's a whole different discussion.