How to fix plant breeding

by Jeremy Cherfas on January 3, 2013

Big Picture Agriculture is a great source of stories about, er, the big picture in agriculture. Catching up with Kay I came across this beaut:

GM labeling activist movements are misguided. Fred Kaufman explains that the real problem lies in U.S. plant patent laws which have done more harm than good, overall. Food patent laws stand in the way of good scientific research.

The most direct and efficient way to undermine the food industrialist monopoly of the molecular seed business is to reform these laws (particularly the utility patent law of 1985), and make food property rights less exclusive, less lucrative, and less enduring. … Instead of tilting at the windmill of food labels, food nonprofits should hire a fleet of I.P. lawyers and send them to Washington to demand reform of the Plant Patent Act. When there’s less profit in genetic modification, things will get better for consumers, farmers, and scientists—pretty much everyone except corporate executives.

I really have nothing to add.

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