Many individuals are aware that biotech has developed a seed monopoly largely by patenting genetically modified organisms, but not everyone realizes that Monsanto tried to patent a tomato that had no biotech traits. Now, the European Patent Office (EPO), with help from an international coalition, No Patents on Seeds!, has revoked Monsanto’s fraudulent patent and claim to tomatoes that are naturally resistant to a fungal disease called botrytis.
These natural, non-GMO tomatoes,
like many healthy plants, have a natural resistance to certain pests.
In this case, a fungal disease, but this is not a novel phenomenon. Why
Monsanto would try to claim they created it is about as believable as
Syngenta or Dow saying they invented the sun.
Though plant breeders can help plants
develop this natural pest resistance, much of it is innate – the same
as our own immune systems. When individual plants reproduce, they pass
along exceptional combinations of genes to their offspring. Varying
environments (such as cold, or dry, moist or breezy) favor individuals
with different physical and behavioral traits. Individual plants with
genes that improve their survival will be more likely to pass along
these genes compared to the rest of the population.
There is no genetic manipulation via biotech technologies. None is needed. Mother Nature is pretty smart like that.