In Claire Hope Cummings book, Uncertain Peril, she writes about the importance of preserving biodiversity, and native plant species.
Claire Hope Cummings, in this third segment of interviews hones in upon the essential problems plaguing our agriculture system, she argues is a direct result of the industrialization of agriculture. “Our bodies are not machines”, Cummings reminds us, all the parts of a biological (agriculture) system must remain healthy if we are to produce healthy […]
In this final post, I shift ground a bit to talk about a case the Supreme Court will consider in its new term starting this fall. The case is known Bilski v. Doll. The Bilski case raises the basic question, when is a process too abstract to be patentable? The answer to the question will obviously be most pertinent to patents on things like computer software and methods of conducting business (such as finance or marketing strategies). But, depending on how the Court explains its decision, the case could have broader implications for whether people can patent other processes, such as a process for diagnosing an illness or for treating an illness.
Permaculture: the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, appropriate technology, and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth and interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways. —National Sustainable Information Service (ATTRA) In this 4-part series, journalist, environmentalist, and author of […]
Finally, I suggested two big questions that these new statutes left unanswered: (1) does a living organism other than a plant fall within the patentable subject matter categories for regular utility patents?; and (2) do plants, and seeds, fall within the patentable subject matter categories for regular utility patents? These questions, especially the second, are pressing because utility patent protection is stronger than either of the special protections designed just for plants.
Part 1: Monsanto sells a glyphosate-based herbicide called “Roundup.” Monsanto also sells seeds for crops – such as soy, corn, sugar beet, cotton, and others – that are genetically engineered to resist Roundup. Monsanto calls these seeds “Roundup Ready.” Patent law was critical to Monsanto’s business strategy, on both the herbicide and crop seed sides […]
This is more than about the safety of biotechnology; it’s about the ability to have a choice of the foods that we eat, and for our farmers to be able to freely re-use their own seeds, and grow food in the manner that they choose.
Paul Roberts, veteran journalist, and author of The End of Food, talks about the consequences of our industrial agricultural system.