In 2016, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted three Patents to the Danish brewery, Carlsberg. Patents cover barley plants derived from conventional breeding, their usage in brewing as well as the beer brewed thereof. In a joint letter, several civil society organizations are now calling on Carlsberg to drop these Patents. They consider the Patents to be an abuse of Patent law and in conflict with the interests of consumers.
“There should be no Patent on beer and barley. Breeding plants and brewing beer are not inventions, but based on centuries-old tradition,” says Erling Frederiksen from Friends of the Earth in Denmark (NOAH).
The “No” Patents on Seeds coalition is initiated by the Berne Declaration, Greenpeace, Misereor, No Patents on Life, Swissaid, Norwegian Development Fund and campaigns for a clear regulation in Patent law. Their initiative is supported globally by over 300 NGOs and farmers’ organizations, and has collected about 100,000 signatures against Patent on plants and animals. The coalition now urges the institutions of the EU to go for clear legal regulations to exclude from patentability of plants, animals, genetic material, processes for breeding of plants & animals and food derived thereof.