In 2007, Monsanto sold Monsanto Choice Genetics to Newsham Genetics LC of West Des Moines, Iowa. The transaction was completed in November 2007, and Monsanto is no longer in the swine breeding business.
Since a Greenpeace publicity announcement in 2005, rumors have continued to circulate among activists and on the internet that Monsanto is trying to patent pig genes. When Monsanto owned the business, the company performed research work for a patent application related to a specific gene marker for a pig trait, but not for the trait itself, and also a patent application for a unique set of breeding processes, including an artificial insemination method. Monsanto never filed a patent application for a pig gene.
There’s been some rather wild speculation that these patent applications would prohibit pig farmers from breeding lines of pigs to which they had always freely bred. This isn’t true. Any claims issued from these patent applications would apply to only animals and their offspring which had been bred using marker technology covered by patent claims.
In any case, the sale to Newsham Genetics included any and all swine-related patents, patent applications, and all other intellectual property. We’re out of the pig business.