New Delhi: The National Seed Association of India (NSAI) has urged the government of India to issue clarifications on patent rights on seeds and plant varieties in the country. The association, in a press statement, has alleged Monsanto has falsely claimed legal rights on seeds and plant varieties.
Referring to a meeting of members of NSAI with the Department of Agriculture Cooperation (DAC) recently, the statement reads, “The officials of the patent office have clarified in the meeting that while genes and biotechnology processes can be patented while seeds and transgenic plants cannot be patented”.
NSAI president Prabhakar Rao said, “We request to the DAC to issue a notification under the PPVFR Act to bring clarity to the trait developers, seed companies and farmers about the intellectual property law governing transgenic crops so that there is fair and competitive market leading to availability of quality seed at affordable prices to the farmers and without any monopoly getting created.”
“There are provisions in the PPVFR Act to encourage breeders to develop new varieties and enjoy IP rights to recoup the investments on development of new varieties,” said Dr Kalyan B Goswami, Executive Director, NSAI, adding, “Under the PPVFR Act trait value fixation power lies with the Authority”.