13 May 1998
Euro-Parliament backs new biotech patent law
EUROPES biotechnology industry won a 10-year battle for the legal right to protect its own discoveries, after the European Parliament yesterday approved a controversial patenting law.
The pharmaceutical industry greeted the decision as a breakthrough that would lead to a huge increase in medical research investment. Europes biotechnology patent laws are now in line with those of Japan and the USA.
But environmentalists, religious groups and extreme political parties put up fierce opposition against the new measures. They argued that there were environmental, human health and ethical problems if biotechnology companies were allowed to patent genetically modified plants. The new laws do not refer to animals or humans.
- Financial Times 13/05/98 page 26
- The Guardian 13/05/98 page 3
- The Daily Telegraph 13/05/98 page 7
- The Independent 13/05/98 page 7, page 18 (Comment)