Free dissemination of bacterial strains

murianap muriana at
Thu Oct 17 08:25:19 EST 1991

Dear Bionet "Netters,"

In the past year I've requested several bacterial food starter cultures 
from a colleague associated with a starter culture company. I have recently 
received a letter stating:
	"...reminded by our company that release of all strains
	(patented or not patented) is contingent on a written
	agreement that the strains be used solely for research
	and not for dissemination to other institutions or 
	companies without our permission."

Keeping in mind that these cultures often exist as viable cells in the 
various products for which they are used (yogurt, buttermilk, etc.), once 
you buy the product you are also the owner of the purchased culture, I 
believe (please reply if I am in error).  I would expect that in the case 
of food starter cultures, there shouldn't be many/any "patented" cultures 
on a food which will be consumed (perhaps the "process" of using the 
culture to make a food product may be patented), especially patented by 
virtue of changes introduced by recombinant DNA.

I have been insulted by this request, knowing that they themselves have 
obtained cultures (competitors?) by merely purchasing products on retail 

I would be interested in comment on this issue. Thank-you.
    Name: murianap
Internet: muriana at
   Phone: 317-494-8284

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