Lay’s potato controversy to finally end, Victory for Indian farmers
India -A new circular issued on Friday by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority, the specific variety of the potato grown for Lays can no longer come under a patent.
India has revoked the patent for one of the most famous PepsiCo product Lays after controversies regarding the patent issued grew in 2019. The company had sued some of the farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety, which is known to have less moisture content and is used by Lays.
The same year, the company had withdrawn the lawsuit and stressed that they will solve the issue amicably but the two sides did not come to a conclusion. Things were further highlighted in the country when Kavitha Kuruganti, a farmers’ rights activist, said that India’s rules do not allow a patent on seed varieties.
PPVFR authorities also agreed to her contentions and said that it is indeed a rule and they can go ahead with the revocation. Reuters quoted the order and confirmed that K. V. Prabhu, chairman of the PPVFR Authority said, “The certificate of registration…is hereby revoked with immediate effect.”
“We are aware of the order passed by the PPVFR Authority and are in the process of reviewing the same,” said the spokesperson of PepsiCo India. But still the company continues to stress that it had developed the FC5 variety of potato in 2016 and the same year, it registered the trait as well. The company had a long history in India. It set up its first plant in the country in 1989 and it supplies the FC5 seed variety to the farmers who further sell the same produce to the company at a fixed price as the end step at the primary level.