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Carlsberg and Heineken are fighting to control and own the entire beer-making process - from harvest to bar. We need to increase the pressure before it!
Carlsberg and Heineken are trying to take ownership of the entire beer-making process. If this happens, everyone will have to pay them a fee: the farmers, the breweries and the consumers.
To achieve this, the two multinationals need a patent. And to date, the European Patent Organization is on your side. Why? Because for each new patent you get a commission .
Last summer we launched a campaign and also filed a collective opposition to the patent, which was made possible by thousands of people.And we got the Patent Office to promise us a hearing!
However, it's been a long time since that and we still don't have a date for the hearing.It is time to let the European Patent Organization know that we are still at the bottom of the barrel. Last year we collected more than 115,000 signatures, which helped us get an audience.Can you help us double the number of signatures and pressure before they give us a date for the hearing?
The patent on barley (the main ingredient in beer) that Heineken and Carlsberg want to obtain would affect the entire beer-making process, including the final product. This would mean that these brands would profit in threefold ways: from selling barley seeds to farmers, from buying their harvest at reduced prices, and from selling beer to consumers.Carlsberg and Heineken would control the entire production process: from harvest to bar.
In recent years, the Patent Organization has been able to support large multinationals without raising suspicions because no one was paying attention to them. No one had ever publicly accused them ... until now .
Our action community has struggled to get an audience. But we want a date so we can keep up the pressure. We have already waited too long:it is time to remind the European Patent Organization that we have not forgotten their promise to grant us a hearing. If we manage to double the number of signatures on our petition, they will not be able to postpone it any longer. Let's increase the pressure!
Because it is important
We all know barley, beer and its production process. They are old traditions within everyone's reach. However,The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a patent to Heineken and Carlsberg on traditionally grown barley.With the patent, these multinationals become owners of the barley, from the seed to the beer mug. What a scandal! They not only want to take over a tradition that has existed for thousands of years, but with the patent, theEPO is violating European law. What's more, every time a patent is approved, the EPO makes money.
We have the opportunity to stop the barley patent and the granting of these kinds of patents. Last year, the EU already gave in to popular pressure, when more than 570,000 Europeans signed our petition, ruling that no patents can be granted for plants or animals., unless they are genetically modified. Now it is the member states of the European Patent Organization that have the power to require their Office to act in accordance with current legislation.
Together with more than 30 environmental organizations, we will raise our voice to protest and file a legal objection against the barley patents granted to Carlsberg and Heineken.We will reclaim our barley and take the opportunity to call on Member States to prevent the EPO from circumventing European legislation.
In recent years, the European Patent Office has continued to grant patents to food plants such as tomatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe and, more recently, barley.The scope of such patents is huge: in this case, it includes barley, the brewing process, and the beer itself.Furthermore, the patent covers all types of barley with the same characteristics, regardless of how it was grown. This means that breweries make three-fold profits: from selling barley seeds to farmers, from buying their harvest and from selling beer to consumers.They would control the whole process, from the field to the bar.At the same time, the patent entitles them to prevent other farmers from growing better quality barley and allows them to expand their dominance in the market, to the detriment of farmers, growers, consumers and other brewers.
The patents granted to Carlsberg and Heineken show us how industry and EPO can take advantage of gray areas in legislation to get around bans. The EPO has annual revenues of one billion euros, from fees, and it gets money for the grant of each patent, allowing multinationals to gain ground in the market.
With our objections, we are directly confronting two multinational brewers in a single case. The EPO must respond to our legal objections with a detailed reasoning justifying its decision.
P.S: When our hearing is finally held, we will march to the European Patent Organization in Munich. This is the strength of our movement: we are able to appear where it is necessary because our movement is made up of thousands of people spread across the continent.Sign the petition so that our message cannot be ignored.
 Consult page 11 of this document (in English): here, in pdf
 The European Union's own guidelines state that patents on plants, including barley, are illegal unless they are genetically modified. However, the European Patent Organization is not an organization of the European Union, and therefore does not have to comply with the EU guidelines.