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February 24th, 2017 / hortibiz.com

Plant breeders must have free access to biological material in order to be able to breed new crop species. Patent law thus does not apply to conventional plant breeding. This was unanimously confirmed by the European Member States at the Competitiveness Council in Brussels. The Member States indicated that it was never the intention when drawing up the Biotech Directive – which regulates patent protection of biotechnological inventions – to grant patents to products that are the result of an essentially biological process.

Minister for Agriculture Van Dam: ‘This breakthrough in the discussion about patent law is extremely important to plant breeders, and as a consequence also to food supply. Breeders play a crucial role in food production by continually developing new and better crops. If they have free access to biological material, this stimulates innovation in the plant breeding sector, which is good for competitiveness and ultimately also for global food security.’ See more