Patenting life and food
Issues surrounding patenting life are at the core of the GM transgenic food debate. In my mind what you think about patenting life comes down to philosophical beliefs and economics. And what you believe about patenting life ultimately informs your position and attitude towards GMO’s in general.
As I’m quick to say time and time again, the profit motive in a corporate capitalist marketplace seems to not bring about the best in humanity. In the pursuit of profit, especially in societies where this is a legal mandate, other potentially damaging effects on society or the environment are not factors in the decision making process leading to questionable ethics to at the very least.
For so many issues surrounding the politics of food the profit motive is at the center of the debate but often gets pushed aside with uninformed consumer hysterics or the Chewbacca defense by self-interested companies and officials.
I am opposed to patents far beyond the notion of patenting life. The patent process is an abused system exploited by companies and individuals in ways similar to domain name squatting on the internet (see “For the sake of the internet and capitalism…“). In the case of food and life patents companies are prevented from patenting food or life unless they have engineered it, even that involves needlessly tinkering with an organism. Thus in order to maximize profits it is any food companies best interest to engineer everything they are selling. Indeed it could be argued through case studies I’m sure that it should be illegal to not genetically modify their food products (i.e. Company A tripled profits by engineering and patenting all the food they sell while Company B who did not patent went bankrupt, therefore Company B is liable for shareholder losses).
Hopefully the information provided on my website can inspire some concern for these topics that would lead you to do your own research. And I can only hope that I am not alone in thinking that patenting life is a bad idea and corporate capitalism might be a major contributing factor.