Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

No patents on life

Who owns planet diversity? Patents, monopolies and resistance against biopiracy and life patents

Organiser: Christoph Then, scouting biotechnology, Germany

Geoff Tansey, Joseph Rowntree Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World , UK
Tina Goethe, Swissaid, Switzerland
Mariam Mayet, African Centre Biosafety, South Africa
Mute Schimpf,  Misereor, Germany
Ruth Tippe, No Patents On Life !, Germany

In this workshop we will give an overview about current situation on patents and movements and resistance against biopiracy and life patents. It will include recent discussions about patents on plants and farm animals derived from normal breeding. Further the ongoing discussion about patents on GE plants and some case studies on biopiracy related to pharmaceutical industry will be highlighted. In this context also the question of access and benefit sharing will be included in the discussions.

Introduction/ Chair: Christoph Then (former Greenpeace) 
First part: perspectives from the south
    Mute Schimpf (Misereor): Patents on seeds and the perspective of development countries
    Mariam Mayet (African Centre Biosaftey): Biopiracy – a spotlight from South Africa
first round of discussion
second part: European perspectives
   Goeff Tansey (publisher): The Future Control of Food
   Tina Goethe (SWISSAID): No Patents On Seeds  - an international coalition
   Ruth Tippe (No Patents On Life!): Overview – Patents on Animals in Europe
second round of discussions
Final discussion: Sending a signal against patents on life and biopiracy

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Background Papers and further reading

About the experts and the presentations:
Tina Goethe works for the organisation SWISSAID in Switzerland which is engaged in development politics and questions related to food sovereignty, ( She will present a global coalition against patents on seeds and farm animals (
Mariam Mayet works for the African Centre Biosafety, she will especially talk a about a case of Biopiracy from South Africa (
Mute Schimpf is working for Misereor, the German Catholic Bishops' Organisation for Development ( Misereor has many partners in the development countries and was for example active against a patent of Dupont on high-oil maize from Latin America.
Geoff Tansey, a well known author from UK will talk about “Global rules, patent power and the future control of food” (
The book is also freely available online in HTML and XML formats on IDRC’s website
Christoph Then was working for Greenpeace Germany as an expert on patents and genetic engineering. Right now he is working as consultant and project manager (
Ruth Tippe is working for the Initiative „No Patents On Life“. She does regular research at the European Patent Office and will give an overview on latest developments in the field of patents on animals. (

No Patents on LifeNon aux brevets sur le vivantKein Patent auf LebenNO patentes sobre la vida

Local Organising Committee