Nestle on the fennel affair
Nestlé is not trying to patent the fennel flower.
We made patent applications for a compound that can be extracted from Nigella sativa (also known as fennel flower, black seed and black cumin) or from other plants, to help treat or prevent food allergies.
We filed patent applications in 2009 that claim the use of an opioid receptor stimulating compound for the preparation of a composition to treat or to prevent food allergy. The patent application is for the compound, not for the plant the extract comes from. We have not filed a patent on the plant itself.
Plants provide the raw material for many Nestlé products. Our longstanding research programme in plant science is designed to find ways to improve the quality of plants and materials derived from plants, to improve the sustainability of their production and the stability of their supply. We have introduced a number of measures to ensure that we respect the principle of fair access to the raw materials we use. Our suppliers must be compliant with national laws and international agreements.