Nestlé holds the patent for transgenic coffee

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Coffee is a product that does not need presentation, it is the second most demanded in the international market after oil. Mexico is the third most important coffee producer in the region, and a leader in the production of organic coffee, increasingly appreciated internationally. Hence, the more than 400 thousand Mexican coffee producers intend to start a battle against the multinational company Nestlé.

But why? According to Greenpeace, Nestlé obtained last February a patent for genetically modified coffee plants that they say will improve the solubility capacity of coffee powder. This patent obtained at the European Patent Office brings together the technical process, transgenic plants and the use of coffee beans to make soluble coffee. In addition, Nestlé has announced new patents for genetically modified yogurt and cocoa, some already obtained in Europe.

The Swiss multinational had announced and promised not to commercialize transgenic products, but after acquiring these patents, it shows that it is interested in genetic engineering in order to obtain control of the food production chain and greater economic power. If these patents are developed, many farmers will be dependent on multinationals, in addition it will transform agricultural production into an industrial activity displacing the peasants and increasing their poverty.

Greenpeace asks Nestlé to suspend the use of transgenics as well as the patents obtained, among other things because of the danger that these modifications present on the ecology, agriculture and health of all.

In response, Nestlé offers its version and says that the patent that has caused such a stir was authorized in 2003 and that they are working with research institutes and universities to improve coffee harvests so that they can obtain enough and good quality beans.

They ensure that the patents have been obtained so that other companies do not use them and become inaccessible to them and their suppliers, and that "for now" there is no transgenic coffee for sale by Nestlé, so there is still no they have broken their word.

In short, nobody guarantees us that this food multinational will never commercialize transgenic coffee, what do you think?

More information | Greenpeace More information | Swissinfo More information | Transgenic crops, the genetic modification of food More information | Hazard reports on transgenic foods More information | Terminator, solution to genetic contamination?

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