The NEEM patents and biopiracy.

On May 9th and 10th the European Patent Office in Munich will conduct an "Oral Proceeding" to hear the arguments of both sides in the case of a patent granted to the United States Department of Agriculture and the multinational corporation W.R. Grace for a fungicide derived from the Neem, a tree indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.  This patent - one of many on products of the tree - was legally challenged in 1995 by Vandana Shiva of India, Magda Aelvoet (now Belgian Environment Minister), and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, who claim that it has been used for centuries in India and exemplifies how the patent system is being used to transfer biological wealth from the South into the hands of a few corporations and scientists (for details see Background Paper on the Neem Patent Challenge at

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On the occasion of the NEEM Patent Hearing
Monday, May 8th, at 11:00 a.m.

At the Schweisfurth Stiftung in the Schloss Nymphenburg
MUNICH (Schloss Rondell 1 Süd)


A delegation of farmers and scientists from India knowledgeable in the use of neem will also be on hand to demonstrate a variety of locally produced neem products.

Vandana Shiva and Magda Aelvoet, Belgian Minister for Consumer Protection, Public Health, and the Environment, will be present for the Oral Proceeding,which begins on May 9th at 9 a.m. in the PschorrHöfe of the European Patent Office, Room 3468, Bayerstrasse 34, D-80335 Munich. 

The press is welcome to attend.

Representatives of the following organizations will be represented at the Press Conference: 

For further information, contact:

From May 6th - 10th:  +(49 0)172 896 38 58

Before and after, telephone one of the Opponents:

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