This short documentary piece, “Patent for a pig: The big business of genetics” is an incredible introduction to the concept of patenting life. While it easy to justify the desire to patent an original variety of wheat for example, it becomes less easy to justify patenting the genes you used to create that wheat. But as you will see in this video chemical company cum food producer Monsanto wants to patent a whole breed of pig simply because they sequenced it’s DNA and IDENTIFIED the genes that make it “better” than other breeds of pigs.
I hope you have 40 minutes to watch this full story, if not at least watch the first 5 minutes.
NOTE: Since this video the pig patent has not gone over well around the world, but more importantly Monsanto, as of 2007 sold all it’s interest in pigs and pig breeding to Newsham Genetics LLC, and I am unsure of the general state of the pig related patents since then.