EU: Austrian agriculture ministers against patents

"Plants and animals shouldn’t be patented. We should protect biodiversity and we are against every limitation on seeds and animals. Farmers and consumers shouldn’t have to suffer from such irrational rules,” emphasizes Austrian Minister Andrä Rupprechter at the meeting of agricultural ministers in Luxembourg.


Minister Andrä Rupprechter giving an interview Source: Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture

During the meeting the controversial decision of the EU Patent Office, which does not exclude the patenting of certain vegetables was discussed.

The decision of the EU Patent Office has been criticized by all EU member states. The EU commissioner for food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis has pledged his support. If necessary the European Commission will take legal action. “There can’t be a backdoor left open for getting a patent on plants and animals.”

Rupprechter was happy that the discussion extended to a GM-free agriculture in Europe. 19 EU-member states want to ban the cultivation of GM crops and have an opt-out option. Austria is the first EU member that banned the cultivation of the GM plants by law.

During a conference in Slovakia 8 EU states recently advocated for a GM-free agriculture in Europe. Rupprechter: “Austria has a leading role in the GM-free cultivation. Our goal is to create GM-free zones, which reach beyond the borders of countries.” As a good example he mentions the Donau-Soy-Initiative, the initiative promotes of GM-free soy. This initiative is supported by 14 countries.

Source: www.bmlfuw.gv.at

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