[Ip-health] Fighting famine with peanut paste freed from patent protection

Joana Ramos jdr at ramoslink.info
Fri Sep 2 12:32:16 PDT 2011

 From Tom Paulson's Humanosphere blog today , 2 September:

> It's called *Plumpy'nut*, a nutritionally fortified peanut-based food 
> paste that's one of the primary weapons in the battle against 
> starvation in the Horn of Africa.
> And it well may be in wider use in the famine in East Africa because 
> of some folks who months earlier filed a lawsuit challenging a patent 
> on Plumpy'nut....

> What gets little mention in most of these stories is that Plumpy'nut 
> was invented and patented by a French company, Nutriset, many years 
> ago. And when these other companies, like the one profiled by NBC, 
> wanted to get in on the action of producing this humanitarian 
> foodstuff a patent protection legal battle ensued.
> Here's a BBC story on the legal battle 
> <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8610427.stm> last year and another 
> one by the UN's news service IRIN describing the pressure on Nutriset 
> <http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=87712> to allow others 
> to produce Plumpy'nut.
> Nutriset eventually bowed to pressure and has allowed other 
> organizations to produce Plumpy'nut under a Patents Usage Agreement. 
> <http://www.nutriset.fr/en/access/patents-for-development/online-patent-usage-agreement.html>
Joana Ramos, MSW
Independent Health Policy Consultant
Portuguese Medical Interpreter
Seattle WA
tel. 206-229-2420

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