Women in Defense of the Neem Tree

From left: Linda Bullard (with jar of Neem tree seeds), Vandana Shiva, Magda Aelvoet

On International Women's Day 2005: Landmark Victory in World’s First Case Against Biopiracy!

The Neem tree and its valuable products are protected as a traditional community resource.

"This is a great International Women's Day story" wrote Linda Bullard, sending us this happy news.

Former Belgian health minister and Minister of State Magda Aelvoet, President of the Green Group in the European Parliament when the original submission to the EPO to cancel the patent was made on 14 June 1995: "Our victory against biopiracy is threefold. First, it is a victory for traditional knowledge and practices. This is the first time anybody has been able to have a patent rejected on these grounds. Second, it is a victory for solidarity; with the people of developing countries – who have definitively earned the sovereign rights to their natural resources, and with our colleagues in the NGOs who fought with us against this patent for the last ten years. And third, coming as it does on International Women's Day, this is also a victory for women. The three people who successfully argued this case against the might of the American administration and its corporate allies, were women; Vandana Shiva, Linda Bullard and myself."

"Denying the patent means upholding the value of 'traditional' for millions of [people] not only in India but throughout the South. The free tree will stay free," said RFSTE director, Dr Vandana Shiva. -- from a BBC news report

See a review of Vandana's book "Biopiracy" on our site

Thanks and congratulations from us to Vandana Shiva, Magda Aelvoet, and Linda, a much-valued 'founding' WLOE Advisor and friend.

Linda Bullard has prepared a background paper, March 2005:
Freeing the Free Tree: A briefing paper on the first legal defeat of a biopiracy patent: The Neem Case