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Biotech Company To Patent Pigs

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the bring-home-the-bacon dept.

Biotech 285

Anonymous Swine writes "Monsanto, a US based multinational biotech company, is causing a stir by its plan to patent pig-breeding techniques including the claim on animals born by the techniques. 'Agricultural experts are scrambling to assess how these patents might affect the market, while consumer activists warn that if the company is granted pig-related patents, on top of its tight rein on key feed and food crops, its control over agriculture could be unprecedented. "We're afraid that Monsanto and other big companies are getting control of the world's genetic resources," said Christoph Then, a patent expert with Greenpeace in Germany. The patent applications, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, are broad in scope, and are expected to take several years and numerous rewrites before approval.'"

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patented bacon (4, Funny)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668629)

It better taste good

Re:patented bacon (3, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668743)

Could we ask them to develop a pig with an uncloven hoof? It would be interesting to see kosher bacon on the shelf.

Re:patented bacon (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668843)

Could we ask them to develop a pig with an uncloven hoof? It would be interesting to see kosher bacon on the shelf.

It's already available. The text literally translates as "cloven hoof that trods the ground", so they raise pigs on slightly elevated wood floors - their hooves never touch the ground, so they're kosher.

Cue all the "a priest and a rabbi" jokes ...

Re:patented bacon (4, Funny)

theskunkmonkey (839144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669577)

A priest, a rabbi, and a terrorist walk into a bar.

BOOM!

What? You were expecting a joke?

Re:patented bacon (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668955)

kosher bacon made from beef is pretty good.

Monsanto's motto... (5, Insightful)

yoder (178161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668655)

"Do only evil."

So far they're on track.

Re:Monsanto's motto... (1, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668795)

At least they have balls. I mean, file a patent for the oldest concept humankind has?

I wish they die a horrible death, but only because it wasn't my idea.

Re:Monsanto's motto... (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669393)

They patented prostitution?

Re:Monsanto's motto... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670035)

No, it went like this:

1. Invent sex
2. Invent money
3. start charging for 1
4. Profit.

Yes, they figured out ????

Re:Monsanto's motto... (2, Funny)

Smoke2Joints (915787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670275)

sorry, i patented death around 6000BC and have held it ever since. the pending patent infringement lawsuit and subsequent damages award will be newsworthy, let me tell you..

Re:Monsanto's motto... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669651)

You took the words out of my mouth.

Re:Monsanto's motto... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669949)

Evil. It's what's for dinner.

this is getting way out of hand (2, Insightful)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668673)

I think i'm going to invent a pair of scissors and extend the patent to cover anything you cut with them.

pig breeding? (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668709)

I was going to suggest some prior art, but I realized that cowboy neal has never been laid.

Time machine also patented (5, Informative)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668717)

Did anyone else notice the 2005 date on the press release?

As far as I can tell, no patents have been granted from WO2004/003697 which seems to be the most likely application in question.

Re:Time machine also patented (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669299)

What a worthless post. A four-year-old article necro-posted so slashdotters can scream "ZOMG patents are TEH SUXXORZ!!"

The PTO may be dumb, but they are not about to issue a patent claim to "a pig" or "pig breeding." Even if claims did eventually issue, it is going to be super, duper, NARROW.

I WISH the PTO issued patents so easily. As a patent attorney who deals with the PTO on a daily basis, that would make my job MUCH easier.

Re:Time machine also patented (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669441)

Figures. What do you call a principled lawyer? Unemployed.

Re:Time machine also patented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670363)

How can you bring yourself to keep reading Slashdot?

Re:Time machine also patented (1)

jcorno (889560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670145)

As far as I can tell, no patents have been granted from WO2004/003697 which seems to be the most likely application in question.

I think it's actually WO/2003/096799 [wipo.int] . That's the only one I could find that talked about breeding. It looks like they filed patent applications in the US, the EU, Australia, and Canada. The European application was abandoned, and the others are still pending (you can see them on the "National Phase" tab).

Re:Time machine also patented (1)

jcorno (889560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670233)

Scratch that. It's actually WO/2005/015989 [wipo.int] . This one also has no granted patents.

patents and insanity (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668721)

In general, I am opposed to patents because I feel they stifle innovation, and especially software patents for the more selfish reason that it keeps me from doing things that I want. However, this guy:

"We're afraid that Monsanto and other big companies are getting control of the world's genetic resources," said Christoph Then, a patent expert with Greenpeace in Germany.

Isn't Greenpeace against GMO? Why do they care then? It's not like Monsanto suddenly owns all pigs ever born.....they can still keep using normal, everyday, unmodified pigs like they do now. In fact, they should be HAPPY, because Monsanto's patent protection will prevent other people from researching and developing GMO pigs based on these techniques. It gives me the feeling that Greenpeace just wants to protest anything. Kind of reminds me of the tea-party protesters, who mostly seemed like they were out there to have fun in the name of a protest.

Re:patents and insanity (1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668769)

Scratch that, I think the real motivation here for Greenpeace is that they hate Monsanto, and they are willing to do anything they can to try to hamper them in any way, even if it makes their position appear illogical. The only way Monsanto could satisfy them is by going out of business. Which is fine, I guess, but it's kind of annoying to have someone who doesn't represent their position in a straightforward way.

Re:patents and insanity (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668817)

The problem with GMO crops, and more importantly, for anti-GMO people, is that they are simply better for the farmer. They can produce more for less work. Even when you take the licensing costs into account, it is more economical overall. Presumably, the anti-GMO people are against this push into new markets because it will do the same for pig farmers as it did for crop farmers. And that'll make it harder for anti-GMO people to continue their "organic" lifestyle.

Re:patents and insanity (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668903)

The problem with GMO crops, and more importantly, for anti-GMO people, is that they are simply better for the farmer. They can produce more for less work. Even when you take the licensing costs into account, it is more economical overall. Presumably, the anti-GMO people are against this push into new markets because it will do the same for pig farmers as it did for crop farmers. And that'll make it harder for anti-GMO people to continue their "organic" lifestyle.

... because mono-cultures are SO much better than diversity ...

... because they'll never abuse their monopoly license ...

... because it's easy to keep GMOs from contaminating non-GMOs (crops/animals) ...

... because selective breeding is such a radical and new idea ...

... because they'll never take a naturally-occurring species and slip a patent on it ...

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:patents and insanity (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669003)

... because mono-cultures are SO much better than diversity ...

To the farmer they are, yes, because automating the tending of a crop that is all identical is much easier. If they could economically clone cattle and ensure they grow uniformly, they would because it would mean the slaughter floor could be completely automated.

... because they'll never abuse their monopoly license ...

They do indeed abuse their monopoly license.. but that is a measurable cost and it is in the monopolists interest to keep that cost at a level that their customer is willing to pay. So it really boils down to the choice: do you want to make less money just to spite the monopoly. Some people do, most people don't.

Dell sells computers with Windows preinstalled on it because they can make more money than selling computers without it preinstalled. My argument was that farmers find Monsanto's crops better. Not that it was what was best for the consumer.

Re:patents and insanity (3, Insightful)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670047)

... because mono-cultures are SO much better than diversity ...

To the farmer they are, yes, because automating the tending of a crop that is all identical is much easier.

At least until this [slashdot.org] happens and then we have no more of whatever that crop was.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670109)

Yeah, which is the ultimate danger of not actually having a bootstrapable food supply.

Imagine we could only get a computer running by copying the contents of RAM from one machine to another. You'd really fear power outages.

 

Re:patents and insanity (2, Insightful)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670117)

... because mono-cultures are SO much better than diversity ...

To the farmer they are, yes, because automating the tending of a crop that is all identical is much easier. If they could economically clone cattle and ensure they grow uniformly, they would because it would mean the slaughter floor could be completely automated.

Until a disease slips through and wipes out the entire crop/herd in a single blow. Heck, non-GMO monoculture crops are a bad enough idea already. They do a horrible job of utilizing and restoring soil nutrients, requiring more and more fertilizers and support.

It's expensive and unsustainable.

Re:patents and insanity (4, Interesting)

twostix (1277166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670329)

Farmers sprayed arsenic on their crops and fed their cows mashed up cow, pig and chicken carcasses to make them 5% more productive.

So probably best not to put *to* much stock in what "farmers" (huge agri-corps run by paid employees - old school farmers are thin and few in between these days) think is best, because it might just wind up killing you.

Re:patents and insanity (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670401)

Wow.. only on Slashdot.

It's kinda important to put "stock" in what "farmers" think if you're trying to understand the success of a company that sells to, wait for it, farmers. If you don't like what Monsanto do then you really have to think about why they do it.. and that means identifying who their customer is..

Re:patents and insanity (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670225)

There's no such thing are non-GMO. Unless you're a creationist that doesn't believe in DNA and evolution don't spout such nonsense.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670453)

GMO is a derivative work. The DNIAA believes that this is copyright infringement. Seriously, though. The original isn't a modification from the creationist POV.

Re:patents and insanity (2, Insightful)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670567)

... because mono-cultures are SO much better than diversity ...

No one said that. You did.

... because they'll never abuse their monopoly license ...

The RIAA does all the time. Does that reflect upon the artistic merit of a band? Monsanto abuses patents, what does that have to do with anything besides act as a red herring?

... because it's easy to keep GMOs from contaminating non-GMOs (crops/animals) ...

Not yet. That's the beauty of it, there's no reason why something can't be avoided. There are still bugs to work out, yes, and those present unique issues, but has there ever been a technology that was absolutely perfected from the get-go?

... because selective breeding is such a radical and new idea ...

And it may soon be archaic. We can do a lot more a lot faster. The horse and buggy wasn't bad, but the car was better. Of course, working better never stopped clueless luddites from bitching.

... because they'll never take a naturally-occurring species and slip a patent on it ...

Red herring. This has nothing to do with GMOs.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

With what? Fire? Arson. Chemistry? Explosives. Computer networks? Cybercrime.

Perhaps you don't get this, but everything is what it is because of genetics. A Red Delicious apple is sweeter than a wild apple for one reason alone: genetics. You control that and we could massively increase what land is usable for farmland and can cut back on a shitload of resources. What could possibly go wrong if we use GMOs? Not as much as what could go wrong if we don't.

Clueless insanity drives MindSpeak.... (1, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669183)

All of your arguments are valid and applicable to agriculture and Monsanto...but not effective when compared to patents on DNA, Genes, and genetics in an over-broad approach that Corp.s (and specifically, Monsanto) are trying to exploit, with grave consequences.

Just search google, wikipedia, or your favorite reference source for 'DNA patents", Genome patents', or 'Gene patents' for a scary look into our future.

You should be scared by the implications.

Do your own research, just keep an open mind.
Follow the trend with recent(past 20 years) 'IP' thinking/law.

If you are not scared, you either do not understand/care, or are a MegaCorp drone, and don't care.
Yes, I did set up a 'Straw man Dichotomy'
Disprove it, if you can.
I await a relevant reply.

Re:Clueless insanity drives MindSpeak.... (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669219)

Way to fail to make an argument. Idiot.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669687)

Even when you take the licensing costs into account, it is more economical overall.

Seriously? Always?

They are more economical until they have locked in their market, and then they are considerably less economical. Which is obviously the point.

Re:patents and insanity (4, Insightful)

Keith Duhaime (139896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669873)

Most of the anti-GMO crowd is pretty simple in their thinking. They'll rave about organic crops that rely heavily on tillage techniques which promote oxidation of soil organic matter, breakdown of soil structure, and other adverse effects, but condemn GMOs like Round-Up Ready crops that enable zero-tillage systems that preserve soil organic matter, moisture, and structure.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670611)

What pisses me off is that there is even a divide between 'organic' and GMOs. Organic is a cultivation method. GMOs are a type of plant. They're two entirely different things. And yet, there is this luddite philosophy that whatever is natural (whatever the hell natural is supposed to mean) is somehow better and more wholesome and holistic or whatever bullshit passes for sustainable practices today.

Re:patents and insanity (0, Troll)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670689)

Remember this little stunt [guardian.co.uk] , when Greenpeace tried to starve a whole bunch of people to push their agenda? Reread that a few times until it sinks in. They were willing to let people starve to death for their anti-GMO goals. Yes, I realize that they only advised government officials to do that, and maybe they would have done it anyway for political purposes, but Greenpeace still supported the decision. As far as I'm concerned, monsters like that have less than zero credibility concerning genetically modified food.

Re:patents and insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27668941)

While your point about greenpeace might be true, one detail to point out

It's not like Monsanto suddenly owns all pigs ever born.....they can still keep using normal, everyday, unmodified pigs like they do now.

Not if past legal president is to be kept.

They have done this before with corn, and people said the same thing.

The monsanto went out and purposely spread their modified corn in other farmers normal crop, then sued the farmers to have the crop destroyed due to patent violations, which the judges have always upheld in all the trials.

Since it worked, they have paid people to go out and do this for them, so that Monsanto appears unrelated, right up until they take the farmer to court even before his crop grew out of the ground and could be tested.

They will do the same thing here. Either put their teeny tiny custom dna in the water supply, or more easy and likely, they are just patenting genes found in all pigs. We know the patent office hasn't once paid attention to legit prior art in these types of cases, so there is every reason to expect that to stay the same.

Also keep in mind, logic, common sense, and actual laws on the books don't really matter much in court when it is a company the size of and with the capitol of Monsanto.

They never intended to make the world a better place with food for everyone, just to sue other farmers out of their livelihood and stop all competition.

It has happened many times before in just that way. Only a fool would think it would be any different this time.

Just google for Monsanto Corn to read about that nightmare.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669009)

"put their teeny tiny custom dna in the water supply"

"Also keep in mind, logic, common sense"

Maybe you should heed your own advice :)

Re:patents and insanity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670259)

They have done it before with corn. Twice successfully in court.

So infesting the water supply is the best method to get their product into the animal population to sue everyone in the area whom owns animals and hasn't yet paid them their licensing fee.

If they have both done it twice before, and used their own staffs government positions to get a judge to agree the farmers were in the wrong due to monsatso's actions... Why would you even think they wouldn't do this a third and more times? It has worked in the past plenty well.

You are basically making the argument "Well he has stolen my TV twice from me, but this time it will be different, this time I only have a stereo!"

http://foodchronicles.blogspot.com/2007/01/monsanto-problem.html [blogspot.com]

Re:patents and insanity (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670383)

No, he is making the argument that genes can't be passed on animal to animal through the water supply. If you think it can you have no understanding about the issue at hand and should go look it up. Hint: SEX (it's not just for entertainment).

Re:patents and insanity (4, Informative)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670125)

It's not like Monsanto suddenly owns all pigs ever born.....they can still keep using normal, everyday, unmodified pigs like they do now.

Yeah, right...if one of the Monsanto boars gets loose, all the pig farmers in the area will get sued on the theory that the Monsanto pig impregnated all of their sows and they now owe Monsanto royalties on all the progeny. Just look at their history of suing farmers whose crops were contaminated by pollen from nearby Monsanto-licensed fields of the same crops. For the full saga of one such case which the farmer had to take all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court, see http://www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm [percyschmeiser.com] . Mr. Schmeiser's fight, along with Monsanto's other dirty tactics, is also covered in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto [wikipedia.org]

Re:patents and insanity (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670469)

I don't know much about raising pigs, but I know a lot about raising cows. It's a lot harder for semen to get spread around than it is for pollen. In the first case, you're not going to have one pig running around everywhere inseminating all the females, because the females are kept in pens. A pig would have to not only escape from one pen, but also break into another pen.



In the second place, farms are kind of big, so a male cow (or pig) would have a moderately long trot to even find another cow, even before breaking into her pen.

More importantly, few farmers even keep male cows anymore. Artificial insemination is so much easier, and bulls are dangerous.

Things may be a little different for pigs, maybe someone who knows pigs can tell us, but I doubt it will be you.

My main point still stands: Monsanto isn't going to suddenly own all pigs, Greenpeace is being sensationalistic. Not that I have any love for Monsanto, but Greenpeace is just as dishonest in general.

Re:patents and insanity (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670657)

The tricky thing with patented GMO stuff is that it isn't always voluntary. Those genes spread, through the usual mechanisms, just like the wild ones do. And when they do, your normal everyday unmodified stuff isn't unmodified any more, and you are liable to be sued.

It isn't a theoretical issue, just ask Percy Schmeiser [wikipedia.org] .

Hell (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668735)

How are we gonna train politicians now???

Late April fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27668741)

For a second I thought that I had traveled 20 days back in time. Then I realized it wasn't a joke...

Where's my flying car? (1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668773)

And still I have to wait for the future. Better method for breeding pigs? How about making bacon (and pork chops and all the other piggy goodness!) without breeding? Where's that cholesterol free bacon we were promised?

I keep waiting for the militant vegans to give up ignoring the problem (which is all abstinence does) and move to economically crush their enemies - that's what boycotting is supposedly for after all, not that it works. Buy meat from organic farms that treat animals with the respect they say animals deserve. Demand more such farms. Then demand new and better techniques for getting meat without harming animals.. like genetically engineering animals to grow fat meaty tails that drop off, or something. Then, eventually, demand meat production in vats that doesn't even need an animal brain.

Shouldn't biotech companies be making vat grown meat by now? With everything that is happening in biotech, "farming" pigs should be laughable. It should be compared to plowing a field with horse power.

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

S7urm (126547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668869)

Dude,

You really wanna eat bacon that was "Grown in a Vat"?

think about that for a minute while you hand in your Man Card for trying to mess with the Divinity that is Bacon!

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668911)

Indeed. I'd actually like all food to be grown in vats.. preferably vats that are small and portable and installable in your own home.. powered by your home fusion generator.

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

S7urm (126547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668983)

Would the vat at least be made of Bacon?

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668969)

SOYLENT GREEN! It's made out of people! It's people...

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668945)

Shouldn't biotech companies be making vat grown meat by now?

Remember the sci-fi story "Chicken Little"? - vat-grown chicken - NOBODY gets a drumstick!

How about crossing a chicken with an octopus - 8 wings, no feet, great for "Wings Night".

Or cross it with a starfish. Want more - just cut 'em up and throw them back in the vat ...

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669353)

Obviously, that strategy only works if there were enough vegans to make a dent in the demand. Vegans have already boycotted all meat, and do try to get others to do the same. PETA is already promoting meat that grows in vats.

Vegans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669569)

I am sure there sre s lot more Vegans, its just that its a long way (26 light years) from Vega.

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669389)

Wouldn't it be easier to just breed really masochistic farm animals that _enjoy_ being eaten? (Thank you, Douglas Adams)

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

huiwe (1292974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669723)

Its got to be vat grown it might as well be long pig.

Genetic Patents (4, Interesting)

deemen (1316945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668813)

Someone has to stop these stupid genetic patents. Patents and copyrights are both way out of hand these days. Software patents, now this. I've heard of companies attempting to patent viruses and such (the kind they use to get DNA into other organisms), but a pig? I think patent law has a clause saying you can't patent a living organism (when did genes become "inventions"?). Recently though, big pharma and biotech companies like Monsanto has been lobbying to let this shit happen.

There was a movie that touched on this The Corporation [wikipedia.org] . It's a Canadian movie and I think Monsanto is mentioned in there more than once.

I sincerely don't know how these companies get away with it. Giving them the same rights as people legally was a bad idea. Don't the people working at Monsanto realize how twisted this shit is?

Re:Genetic Patents (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668953)

RTFA. No pig or pig genes are patented.

Re:Genetic Patents (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669459)

Don't all of Dr. Evil's henchmen realize how twisted this shit is? Well, sure... but it's a steady paycheck, at least until some interfering megalomaniacal ladies man decides to butt in! You know... some modern corporation HAVE become indistinguishable from old Bond villains! Where is our man with a license to kill when we need him? And no, Michael Moore does NOT count!

STFU Enviro-nazi's (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27668855)

This is the free market doing what it does best: developing products and services. If you enviro-nazi's don't like this, then move to Cuba or North Korea.

Re:STFU Enviro-nazi's (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669011)

"Best" is relative here. Having a single company control agricultural output in the way that Monsanto does, free markets or no, is a damned dangerous thing. This is about the core structural support of civilization. Fuck with the food supply, and bad things can happen.

Re:STFU Enviro-nazi's (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669189)

Fuck with the food supply, and bad things can happen.

Umm.. fail to innovate farming and we all die.

Re:STFU Enviro-nazi's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669797)

Farming is fine - I recommend you do research before spouting such nonsense.

Please, explain to me how any of Monsanto's 'innovations' have benefited society.

Re:STFU Enviro-nazi's (1)

yoder (178161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669813)

Innovation in the agriculture industry is fine. This has nothing whatsoever to do with innovation. Quite the opposite.

Unprecedented control (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668951)

FTFS: "its control over agriculture could be unprecedented"

It already is. It holds 70-100% of the genetically modified seed market, and is the largest producer of non-GMO seed, not to mention a major player in Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) and of course pesticides and herbicides.

That's not including the lawsuits against farmers who's plants are fertilized by Monsanto crop due to airborne pollen.

In short, the vast majority of industrial farmers in the Corn Belt rely heavily on Monsanto, and those that don't are sued by Monsanto.

Re:Unprecedented control (4, Interesting)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669297)

I recently ran into a few documentaries and articles about Monsanto and was completely amazed at the depth and scope of the unadulterated greed and potential for catastrophic issues that stem from their genetic manipulation of nature.

Even that pales in comparison to the back door government dealings that have landed multitudes of Monsanto employees and board members squarely in government position that control the very laws they are petitioning for. Do a simple google search, the numbers are astounding to the point of obscenity.

Re:Unprecedented control (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670199)

It already is. It holds 70-100% of the genetically modified seed market, and is the largest producer of non-GMO seed, not to mention a major player in Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) and of course pesticides and herbicides.

And if they get their way [overlawyered.com] , soon enough that will be 100% of the crops you eat; produced from GMO seed with the "terminator" gene [nd.edu] , fertilized with a synthetic fertilizer, and inundated with synthetic pesticides which destroy soil diversity and in fact make it impossible to grow healthy food.

A history of evil (4, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27668973)

God help you if one of their seeds blows onto your property and one of their pigs eat it.

I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669629)

"Your farm is belong to us."

Pigfuckers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669097)

Using a specialized device to inseminate sows deeply in a way that uses less sperm than is typically required.

A longer turkey baster.
Whodathunkit?

Best line in the article (4, Funny)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669159)

The practices Monsanto wants to patent basically involve identifying genes that result in desirable traits in swine, breeding animals to achieve those traits and using a specialized device to inseminate sows deeply in a way that uses less sperm than is typically required.

Umm I think nature invented that device a long time ago....

Re:Best line in the article (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669317)

You know their motto: "Build a better pig penis, and the world will beat a path to your door!" I think "Long" John Holmes' work counts as prior art on this "innovation", doesn't it?

Monsanto is dangerous (4, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669167)

Needs to be stopped, burned and sealed away.

Patent pig-breeding? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669255)

Pigs have been breeding for millions of years. Pigs in captivity have been bred for thousands of years. Methinks there might be some prior art here! Perhaps these pigs are breeding using a non-doggy-style position? I'm pretty sure the Kama Sutra contains prior art on that as well. I'm also pretty sure Mendel and others called "prior art" on selective breeding a long time ago. So what is left to patent?

Re:Patent pig-breeding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669965)

They've already patented DNA, arguably an older concept than breeding. Now they're just patenting a method of transferring it.

Pigs have prior art (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669355)

Pigs have been breeding just fine well before Monsanto existed.

It does lead to funny mental images of a pack of lawyers running around the farm yelling "Stop Fucking or we'll sue!"

Paula Deen called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669433)

She wants her turkey baster back.

Do they fly??? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669445)

No, they don't fly...unless you strap *enough* rocket-motors to them, and successfully ignite them at the proper time.

Yes, let's "IP approve" something that has been happening for eons....and more importantly, patent it!!!!

The whole concept of "IP", will be mankind's fall from prominence. It is our greatest weakness, and will be exploited in the future to our downfall!

Base anything on something imaginary, and it will crumble on you! Why be surprised, except for stupidity?

So... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669511)

They didn't patent pigs so much as pig fucking? Perhaps they should change their slogan to "World leader in the field of pig fucking".

not that i necessarily believe monsanto, but... (4, Informative)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669561)

from http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto_today/for_the_record/pig_patent.asp [monsanto.com]

In 2007, Monsanto sold Monsanto Choice Genetics to Newsham Genetics LC of West Des Moines, Iowa. The transaction was completed in November 2007, and Monsanto is no longer in the swine breeding business.

Since a Greenpeace publicity announcement in 2005, rumors have continued to circulate among activists and on the internet that Monsanto is trying to patent pig genes. When Monsanto owned the business, the company performed research work for a patent application related to a specific gene marker for a pig trait, but not for the trait itself, and also a patent application for a unique set of breeding processes, including an artificial insemination method. Monsanto never filed a patent application for a pig gene.

Thereâ(TM)s been some rather wild speculation that these patent applications would prohibit pig farmers from breeding lines of pigs to which they had always freely bred. This isnâ(TM)t true. Any claims issued from these patent applications would apply to only animals and their offspring which had been bred using marker technology covered by patent claims.

In any case, the sale to Newsham Genetics included any and all swine-related patents, patent applications, and all other intellectual property. Weâ(TM)re out of the pig business.

The Next Move (4, Informative)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669625)

Monsanto patented some corn strains. The patent covered any corn found to have their patented genome. They planted it, it grew and pollinated. The pollen drifted into nearby fields and pollinated the crops there. Monsanto got some of the resulting corn, tested it, found their genome, and sued the farmers for theft of intellectual property. I don't know if they finally won or not, but at the time they prevented the farmers from farming until it was resolved causing loss of income, as well as proving themselves to be willing to use the high cost of defending one's self in order to keep from losing. And that was in the US, just prior to them releasing the same strains in third world countries. The strain they distributed had the trait of not producing viable seed. They wanted all the farmers to have to buy seed every year rather than grow their own, and they feared cross pollination would produce a viable strain overriding the nonviability genes.

Open Letter to Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669801)

We are anonymous.
We cannot be stopped.
We have targeted your top executives and scientists for extermination.
We are tracking your every move.
You cannot run.
You cannot hide.
Your time is up.

Anonymous.

Patents run out in 20 years (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669819)

Patents run out in 20 years. What's the problem? We had food before any Monsanto patent. For a lot longer than 20 years.

I think I understand though. Some company might make some money by inventing something that helps people. That's a problem for anti-corporate haters. They'd rather companies not invent and people not be helped. If just one company can be denied a profit, all the damage to human potential and standards of living is worthwhile!

Re:Patents run out in 20 years (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670103)

Monsanto is an evil, evil company. One needs only to scratch the surface of a google search on the company to come to this conclusion.

The way they have perverted the natural process of pollination - a process by which nobody has any real control - and turned it into a way to force farmers out of business and create a monopoly market is nothing short of evil.

The way they force third world countries to continue buying their products by selling them plants which create infertile seeds, rather than allowing these nations to provide for themselves and actually have a chance of pulling themselves out of third-world status, is nothing short of evil.

This has nothing to do with anti-corporate people. It has everything to do with anti-Monsanto people. Forget Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T or BT. These companies are bad in their own ways, but they are pure, virgin saints in comparison to Monsanto.

Monsanto represents everything which is wrong with extreme capitalism. It is the poster child for why government regulations are necessary, even in a free market. Sadly, Monsanto has, shall we say, 'undue influence', over many of the government officials which are supposed to be keeping them in check.

Patenting genes, DNA, and our food supply is wrong. These are the fundamental building blocks of life. If it isn't obvious why giving monopoly power over these to any company - much less one with no morality whatsoever - is bad, then you are an uneducated, dimwitted moron, plain and simple. No ifs or buts about it.

If you feel like educating yourself, go read Animal Farm. Even The 6th Day with Arnie might prove helpful to you.

Re:Patents run out in 20 years (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670155)

Except none of these arguments matter because patents run out in 20 years.

And they only have "control" when you give it to them in exchange for a benefit. If it's not a good deal, don't buy it.

I don't mindlessly buy into your groupthink. "If you disagree, then you're stupid" tends to be an argument typical of those who promote ideas that are false.

Re:Patents run out in 20 years (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670315)

You might want to do some research on this particular company. This is way beyond anti-corporate stuff. These guys are grade A evil shit assholes. Microsoft looks like a bunch of saints next to the kind of shit these assholes put out.

Agent Orange, Round up, Aspertame (and the associated FDA/Reagan tap dancing act that got it unbanned), Bovine Growth Hormone (and all of the associated information suppression via media pressure and lawsuits), and we have the whole terminator gene lawsuit business...

Bow down to your Monsanto Overlords!!! (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27669895)

Do you like:
1) Bacon
2) Ham
3) Pork chops
4) Pork roasts
5) Any pork product
6)many vegetables,
If answer is yes to any of the above, BOW DOWN TO YOUR MONSANTO MASTERS!

Don't like that?
Then fight back, it is happening currently.

DNA, Genetics, and Genes all need to be exempt from patent law!
Or, reap what you sow!

Re:Bow down to your Monsanto Overlords!!! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670019)

If you put it that way, well, I, for one, welcome blah blah blah.

If this goes through, I'm off on a patent frenzy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27669963)

Step 1. Eat breakfast
Step 2. ??? = I have found it, it's patent human breeding!!! (I will first patent missionary and doggystyle)
Step 3. PROFIT!!!!!

My cold dead hands (1)

asicsolutions (1481269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670081)

They can have my pulled pork sandwich when they take it from my cold dead hands... Why's my arm tingling... Whats that pain in my che

So, all pigs are equal... (1)

markana (152984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27670265)

but Monsanto's are more equal than others?

I think that what they're saying :-)

(just wait until they try to apply this to designer babies...)

Thousands of years of prior art... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670381)

Too bad ass-hats, you can't patent what happens naturally, nor what pig / hog breeders have done for centuries...

Anything you can think of is an OBVIOUS extension to techniques that have been in use longer than you've been around, and longer than you will be around.

Caveman Rules Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670423)

My nth grand pappy

Was the lost dolphin of France

Now I ownz your kidz

Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670459)

If you read up on Monsanto, this isnt surprising, infact, i'm surprised they havn't tried to patent their employees yet. To put it bluntly, they're evil. Like, bond villain evil.

Illegal bacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27670639)

Can't wait to eat illegal bacon on Pirate Fastfood!!!

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