A rural community in South Africa stands up against pelargonium patents and biopiracy.

The Alice community, living in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa, in close collaboration with the African Centre for Biosafety, and supported by the Berne Declaration (Switzerland), the Church Development Service (EED) and “Kein Patent auf Leben” (Germany), has challenged two European patents granted to the German company Schwabe Pharmaceuticals.

Both patents are based on two pelargonium species that occur in the wild in South Africa. The patents are seen as illegitimate and illegal monopolisation of a genetic resource from Southern Africa and the traditional knowledge of the communities in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

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