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Chilean truckers’ union chief issues warning as strike comes to end

Chilean truckers’ union chief issues warning as strike comes to end: José Villagrán, president of the Federacion de Camioneros del Sur (Fedesur) © MULTIGREMIAL DE LA ARAUCANÍA
José Villagrán, president of the Federacion de Camioneros del Sur (Fedesur) /// © MULTIGREMIAL DE LA ARAUCANÍA


Chile’s agri-food exporters welcomed the announcement on Wednesday that the truckers were lifting their seven-day national strike, which had jeopardised exports. However, there is still a threat hanging over the sector, following an ominous warning from the leader of the union representing southern truckers: “We will be attentive that what we have agreed is fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled, we will return to the roads,” said Jose Villagran, president of the Federacion de Camioneros del Sur (Fedesur), according to Diario Financeiro. 



The protest was called to pressure the Chilean government into to speeding up approval of a series of laws to protect trucks from attacks by indigenous groups unhappy about the perceived overdevelopment of certain regions. 

To get around the strike, some suppliers from Chile’s Magallanes region diverted trucks across the Argentine border and put products on cargo flights from the capital Buenos Aires.

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Campaign to end the legal chaos at the European Patent Office

No Patents on Seeds! publishes new report and invites the public to a joint protest at the European Patent Office in Munich

The coalition No Patents on Seeds! published a new report on plant patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2018 and at the beginning of 2019. Despite a prohibition on the granting of patents on conventional breeding, the EPO has nevertheless granted patents on melons, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, garden parsley and cucumber, all of which were produced without using genetic engineering.  At the same time, oppositions against patents on barley were rejected. Faced with these developments, around 30 organisations held a joint protest in front of the EPO on 27 March. This is the day on which the Administrative Council representing the 38 contracting states of the EPO met. The assembly was requested to take measures to ensure that prohibitions are effective.

It is especially difficult for the meeting that in June 2017, after public protests, the Administrative Council together with backup from EU institutions, already took a decision to prohibit patents on plants and animals that are not derived from techniques of genetic engineering. However, in December 2018, the Technical Board of the EPO decided that the decision of the Administrative Council would not be legally binding. Therefore, from beginning of 2019, much higher numbers of these patents could be granted.

Consequently, there is a legally chaotic situation at the EPO: the Administrative Council decision is neither legally enforceable nor sufficient. This situation is especially advantageous to large companies, such as Bayer (Monsanto), Syngenta and BASF, who are aiming to monopolise seeds and plants and thereby take control of basic resources for producing our daily food. Some of these companies are even demanding that patents that were revoked are now reinstated.

The call for public demonstration is supported by: Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), Arche Noah, agu – Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Umweltbeauftragten der Gliedkirchen der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland, BUND Naturschutz in Bayern e.V., Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), Bundesverband Deutscher Milchviehhalter, Campact!,  Die Freien Bäcker, EDL – Evangelischer Dienst auf dem Lande, FIAN, Gäa e.V.- Vereinigung ökologischer Landbau, Gen-ethisches Netzwerk,  Genussgemeinschaft Städter und Bauern e.V., Gesellschaft für ökologische Forschung, IG Nachbau – Gegen Nachbau-Gebühren, IG Saatgut, Katholische Landvolkbewegung Deutschland (KLB), Kein Patent auf Leben!, Keine Patente auf Saatgut!, Kultursaat e.V.,  Sambucus e.V., Verband Katholisches Landvolk (VKL), Plataforma Transgénicos Fora, ProSpecieRara, Save our Seeds!, Slow Food München, SwissAid, Umweltinstitut München and WeMove Europe.


Christoph Then, Spokesperson No Patents on Seeds!, Tel +49 (0) 151 54638040,

Johanna Eckhardt, Project coordination No Patents on Seeds!, Tel + 43 (0) 680 2126 343,