posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 12:55 PM
I found this info some days ago, I was so mad when I read it and had to cool down before posting it. It wasn't enough to have the conquistadors
stealing and destroying our heritage for centuries. My mother is a Amazon Rainforest Native and felt a deep pain in my heart. The information is not
new and that also makes me feel embarrassment for being unaware of it.
When I was a child, living in South America, I learnt to love "Pachamama" (Mother Earth), and I understood you are free to take what you need from
her, without claiming any authority over what she offers to us with love. Same way our kids dont need to ask permission to open the refrigerator at
home, when they need a drink or snack, without abuse or selfish attitude.
- "The Ayahuasca Patent Case". -
In 1981, Loren Miller, director of California-based International Plant Medicine Corporation, took a sample of ayahuasca back to the United
States. Miller then patented it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, claiming a new plant variety he called Da Vine, and in 1986 obtained
exclusive rights to sell and breed the plant. It was not until ten years later that Amazonian native people became aware that one of their sacred
plants was now under U.S. patent law. By 1998, Miller had received, and ignored, repeated requests from indigenous groups to give up the patent.
Finally, the Coordinating Body for Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), a group based in Ecuador and representing over 400 indigenous
groups from eight countries, decided to take action. “Our goal is to have the ayahuasca patent annulled, and to teach all international biopirates a
lesson,” said Rodolfo Asar, communications director of COICA.The organization informed its members that Miller was an “enemy of indigenous
peoples,” and that “his entrance into all indigenous territory should he prohibited.”
A war of words ensued. The organization posted a notice on its website stating that it would not be responsible for any physical harm to Miller if he
ventured into indigenous territory. Miller said he was given a sample of the plant by an indigenous community in Ecuador, but he refused to identify
the community on the grounds that he wanted to protect residents from COICA, which he called a terrorist organization that had ruined the reputation
of his business.
In the fall of 1999, the PTO nullified the patent on the grounds that a specimen like Miller’s was on display at Chicago’s Field Museum at
least a year before he applied for a patent. “Our shamans and elders were greatly troubled by this patent,” said Antonio Jacanamijoy Rosero.
“Now they are celebrating.”
The celebration did not last.
While the PTO had accepted the arguments that the claimed plant variety was not distinctive or novel, it had not acknowledged the argument that its
religious value warranted an exception from patenting. In apparent violation of its own procedures, the PTO allowed Miller to submit new evidence and
arguments, centering on the differences between his ayahuasca plant and museum reference plants. In January 2001, without having heard opposing views,
the PTO reversed its rejection and, in April, issued a certificate allowing the patent to stand for the remaining two years of its term.
Ironically, after all his legal efforts, Miller was left with a patent that was virtually valueless. The patent he received protected only the
specific genome of the patented plant and its asexually reproduced progeny — that is, exclusive rights over nothing more than his original plant and
specimens grown from its cuttings. It did not give him rights over any other specimens of the ayahuasca vine, even specimens that might be identical
Under the law, a patent applied for before 1995 expires seventeen years from the date it was originally issued. The ayahuasca patent expired on June
17, 2003. It cannot be renewed.
- "Bracing for "El Nuña" ". -
Tales from a Tribunal: “The nuña bean is part of the Andean heritage. It is our treasure. For a company to
patent a nuña cross, claiming the "bean-nut popping bean" as an "invention" with absolute world novelty is
immoral and violates the rights of all indigenous groups,” said Elias Carreno, Coordinator of the "Stop
Biopiracy in the Andes" Campaign of the Associación Kechua-Aymara for Sustainable Livelihoods, ANDES
(translated from Spanish).
Indigenous elders from six Andean communities that grow nuña beans met in late February for a traditional
Quechua “tribunal” to deliberate on US Patent No. 6,040,503 on the “bean-nut popping bean” awarded to a US
food processor, Appropriate Engineering and Manufacturing. The popping bean trait is found only in the
Andean nuña bean, which the inventors claim in their patent. After hearing testimony from expert witnesses, the
tribunal rendered their decision. Their verdict was unflinching in its criticism of intellectual property
monopolies that are predatory on the knowledge, rights and resources of indigenous people.
“Ayahuasca, quinoa, and now nuña,” said Carreno, referring to controversial US patent claims on traditional
Andean medicinal plants and food crops. (The ayahuasca and quinoa patents were subsequently overturned or
abandoned due to the protests of indigenous peoples). “These plants represent the collective heritage and
knowledge of our people, and we won’t sit back and allow our popping-bean to be appropriated by a monopoly
The tribunal issued a strongly worded public declaration promising to fight the popping bean patent, and
demanded that CIAT - The International Center for Tropical Agriculture based in Cali, Colombia – uphold its
obligation under a United Nations “trust agreement” to keep farmer-bred bean varieties in the public domain and
off-limits to intellectual property.
“CIAT challenged the patent on Mexico’s yellow bean late last year, and we are asking them to defend our
rights by taking similar action on the nuña patent,” said Moises Quispe Quispe of the Nuña Farmers Federation
of Cusco, Peru.
The not-so-novel Nuña: The subject of the patent that has shocked bean breeders, indigenous peoples, and other
civil society groups is an Andean bean that 'hops when it pops' and 'flies when it fries.’ The nuña bean
(pronounced "noonya") is nutritious - with a faintly "peanuty" taste. More importantly for farming communities
in the arid Andes, cooking nuña requires little fuelwood. The bean is roasted not boiled. A few minutes over the
fire and the beans literally "pop" out of their shells ready to munch.
(Please read the rest in the links provided)
Other sources :
edit on 19-4-2013 by Trueman because: (no reason
edit on 19-4-2013 by Trueman because: (no reason given)