There seems to be a lot of buzz, very recently in Germany, about this controversial subject; however, claims that Monsanto is patenting pigs are poorly researched and uninformed. Perhaps it is the fault of this company for not educating the public better (although we do offer information on pigs and patents on our corporate Website). Perhaps the fault lies with our critics that have spawned these rumors in attempt to disparage our reputation. Where ever the fault lies I will attempt to set the story straight.
To begin, one of the most talked about subjects seems to be the documentary, Patent on a Pig. This video is not only dated (produced in 2006) but skewed to serve the purpose of those who produced it. For example, Andrew Kimbrell, who offers his own commentary throughout the film, is a known anti-food-technology activist. His involvement in this film is not surprising; he has used similar strategies in his other numerous campaigns. Jeffrey Smith, an admitted critic of Monsanto and anti-genetic-enhancement activist, is heavily relied on in this film – presenting his own opinions as fact. The very fact that the video has been circulating for three years and viewers still assume the subject is current is a testament to the misinformation available on the Web.
The bottom line is this – the patent was never intended to patent a pig; the patent application in question was for a specific gene marker for a pig trait and not the trait itself.
Additionally, Monsanto has not owned a pig breeding company since 2007 when it sold Monsanto Choice Genetics to Newsham Genetics LC of West Des Moines, Iowa. Newsham Genetics inherited all patent research and patent applications in the sale. Monsanto does not own any livestock operations.
It may disappoint conspiracy theorists and bloggers but Monsanto is not trying to take over the world. I think that endeavor is best left to my friends Pinky and the Brain.
Kate works on the corporate website for Monsanto in the public affairs department. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Truman State University. Kate grew up in an Air Force family and has lived in sevaral states and countries but spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Iowa. Kate enjoys art and photography as well as horseback riding.