Are living organisms being patented?

Yes. Corporations are being awarded patents for plants, microorganisms, and animals.

The biotech industry sends out ‘researchers’ around the world to discover genes that may have commercial applications. Often this includes asking indigenous people which plants have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes. Then these ‘researchers’ take back samples to their laboratories, isolate active ingredients, and patent these medical properties of the plant as their own inventions. This is what many people in the world call biopiracy – the corporate theft of the genetic resources of this planet.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, biotech companies are also patenting the genes of humans. A biotech company called Autogen, for example, recently made a deal with Tonga’s government in which the corporation bought the exclusive patent rights to the entire gene pool of the people of Tonga.

It is estimated that of the 25,000+ genes now believed to be in the human genome, over three thousand of these have been patented or have patents pending.