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  • Ben Schaefer's picture
    Ben Schaefer
    08.15.2013
    You bring up three points that I think I can dispel any fear from… 1- Patented seeds. Unless you are an independently wealthy home scientist, this is a non issue. It takes 10+ years and millions of dollars to get a commercial end product. There are very few patents specific to seeds anyway, if you research biotech patents; you are going to get a lot of processes, automation, chemical compounds, media recipes, etc, not many seeds. And even those have a 20 year limit on patents. 2- Lawsuits. When a farmer purchases biotech crops, he signs an agreement. It’s like a lease of the trait. So as long as he follows the contract he signs, there should be no issues. To my knowledge there has never been a lawsuit won against a farmer for accidental pollination. But if a farmer does become aware he has patented trait and specifically selects and cleans seed to get those specific seeds to replant next year, then that is also illegal. 3- Monopoly. This has a lot to do with cost and regulations. Yes there are a few top companies (mainly those supporting this site) that control the majority. But they have such a large market share because they are the only ones capable of affording to carry out a product to commercialization. Private companies and Universities just can’t afford the millions of dollars it takes to bankroll. So if you want to make to market more competitive, you need to start pushing for fewer regulations, costs, and hoops to jump through. Hope that helps!