The European Patent Office may have hoped to put an end to its chaotic decision-making, because they have written an opinion that "plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are not patentable," and environmentalists opposed to science are cheering, but that may be because they don't realize how confusing the G 3/19 "Pepper" decision really is.

Activists say an inability to patent means that companies have less incentive to optimize plants, but they ignore that it is also an indication that there is no scientific foundation for beliefs that products like GMOs or CRISPR are unnatural and must be banned while foods derived using the chemical and radiation baths of Mutagenesis can be sold as "Organic." It is simply a marketing distinction.

The legal issues are profound. Humans have been genetically engineering plants and animals for 10,000 years and genetically modified plants and animals can still be patented because they focus on a technical process. Creatures manufactured with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors are also still patentable. The only plants and animals that can't be protected are those from essentially organic breeding processes. The organic industry has let its allies create a ruling that penalizes organic companies. Allergy-free foods and pets with fewer heritable diseases can still exist. If you want decaffeinated coffee without chemicals and pest reduction without pesticides, genetic engineering will still be able to make that happen. 

If plants and animals are patented as "inventions", they cannot be used for further breeding without the permission of the patent holder. So there can't be a patent on organic seeds because they claim they are natural. Why will organic corporations continue to engineer new organic products? The ban also does not apply to patents from before July 1, 2017, so existing strains can still be sold in defiance of "no patents on seeds" desire by organic farmers.

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