“Expert” admits: I don’t know the story of the Enola bean

by Jeremy Cherfas on March 13, 2013

A couple of days ago, when I Nibbled Steve Savage’s “robust defence of plant patents” I said that I did not agree, and that this would never stop me linking to things. I also left a brief comment on the blog post in question. Matthew went far further in challenging Savage’s view in a lengthy, detailed and deliciously snarky comment here. Matthew also cross-posted his comment at Applied Mythology, Savage’s blog, where Steve kinda sorta replied to the points Matthew raised. You can read the exchange there and make your own mind up. But what really, really struck me about Savage’s replies was this:

I don’t know the story of the Enola bean. Perhaps you could summarize that so I and others don’t have to go searching for that information.

I’m sorry? You set yourself up as having some sort of authority in the matter of plant patents, value of, and you “don’t know the story” of one of the most important cases in plant patent lore in recent years? Forgive me if I perhaps don’t take some of your views too seriously.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matthew March 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I wrote a long (and yeah, a little snarky) reply this morning which I guess is not yet moderated. He dismisses Enola as it is a “specialty crop” – I wish he would answer Richard Jeffries point on patent application US 2007/67865 A1 – which is from one of the big companies for a big crop. Or the gametophytic incompatibility trait patent in corn which as I showed has been in the public literature for over 5 decades – again, a bigee in one of the Important Crops. But he doesn’t seem to want to look into the larger systemic issues and wants to stick with “I know good people doing good work with patents” – hoorah for all of us.

Reply

Jeremy Cherfas March 13, 2013 at 6:10 pm

That’s his privilege, and I’m done, for now. Equally, we have the privilege of being able to call him out on it. Thanks for sticking with it.

Reply

Leave a Comment