News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Carl Collen


Wednesday 21st May 2008, 18:00 Central Time

‘Climate Ready’ crops in high demand

A report by the ETC Group has highlighted the competition for patents

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Major biotechnology groups are battling it out to obtain patents on crops that have been designed to withstand environmental changes such as drought, flooding, increased ultraviolet radiation and long-term global warming effects.

According to an ETC Group report, BASF, Syngenta and Monsanto have filed applications to control nearly two-thirds of the climate-related gene families submitted to patent offices worldwide, reports the Washington Post.

Monsanto spokesperson Rajana Smetacek said that companies looking to develop climate-adaptable crops deserved praise. "I think everyone recognises that the old traditional ways just aren’t able to address these new challenges."

Despite some of the world’s poorest nations rejecting biotech crops in the past, it is thought that gene patents may help support them in the future.

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