Who owns the seed?

Close-up of Wheat Grains – By DesignbyNur [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

After doing some reading recently about GMOs and labeling I tripped over this rather scathing article that mentioned the fact that seeds are now patented. I was not aware of that; of course now that I think about it, it makes sense. If someone invests millions of dollars in a product, he should be able to patent it. On the other hand, it is troublesome to me that we are patenting living organisms (seeds, and in some cases animals – see this piece about salmon). If I take a step back from this for a moment, it occurs to me that this would have made good subject matter for an episode of the Twilight Zone or Night Gallery in the 1960s. In this Brave New World there are advancements being made that astound and at the same time frighten. All the while, the spector of hunger and a exploding population hang over our heads. It’s no wonder this is such a hot button for many people.

See Seed, the Movie.

Bayer makes takeover offer for Monsanto

In this BBC story, Bayer is said to have made a takeover bid for Monsanto. The deal, should it happen, would create the world’s largest seed & pesticide supplier. Bayer is the second-largest crop chemical producer behind Syngenta. Monsanto tried unsuccessfully to purchase Syngenta in 2015, with Syngenta accepting an offer from ChemChina (the deal is still under review). See Bayer CEO video here.