It is now revealed that someone named Jans Roosjen of the Netherlands has a United States Patent on the Teff Flour, the tradition food source backing done thousands of years. Roosjen is officially a pre-historical human being, he is back-to-future, he is the mirage and the answers of all things. Since he can patent something that has been part of Ethiopian culture and their practices, without their consent and without consideration. He is not the owner of Teff Flour. The United States Patent Office shouldn’t accept this, because this is taking someones national pride and food culture and stamping their ill-gotten name on it.
This is a mockery of invention, this is cultural and staple food theft. It would be like stealing french-fries from Belgium, the Kimchi from South Korea or the Feijoada from Brazil. No one owns that invention, but you cannot patent it too. This is made for the people and owned by the people, secondly, as a foreigner you should appreciate the culture, not steal it. That is what this man has done with the Patent of Teff Flour milling. Like he invented it, he didn’t invent it, he just served a document and filing to the Patent Office. They should have dismissed it as a insane thinking of a European man, who has no ownership to the food cuisine of Ethiopia.
“Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is a cereal crop of Poaceae or Gramineae family with small grains. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC . Teff seeds were reported to be discovered in a pyramid which is thought to date back to 3359 BC . It is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values. Its center of origin and diversity is Ethiopia” (…) “The cultivation of teff as a major cereal crop in Ethiopia was started thousands of years ago. As mentioned in the Introduction, some researchers have indicated that teff production in Ethiopia has a history of more than 4000 years. Teff is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values” (Daba, 2017).
Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) states this:
“Between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food and teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated. Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and Eritrea between 4,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE. Genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor. A 19th century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful; the seeds in question (no longer available for study) are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.” (eol.org – ‘Eragrostis tef’).
That Roosjen own business, which is on his page teff-grain.com, where he states: “given the fall-numbers the mixing of teff-grain or flour with other flours/seeds is patented”. That is very insane, that a man from Netherlands or Holland is thieving a 1000 year old tradition and trying to keep it to himself. That is disgusting, it would be okay if he imported it through Prograin, the company he is owns and serves, but patenting it, is taking it a bit to far.
So the Roosjen started a shop in 2004, patent it in 2006 and has forgotten the tradition of the food. It is time for the world to patent everything for Nethlands, the wind-mills and when coming to foods. It is time for Ethiopians to patent Dutch tradition food, to retaliate like Pannenkoeken, Erwtensoep, Poffertjes and Stroopwafels. Because if a random Dutch man can patent food for centuries and get away it. The Ethiopian and government, should do similar acts until the Dutch retract this nonsense. This is demeaning and insulting of all humanity. Its like patenting human life itself, Roosjen next project could be to patent one of the pyramids of Egypt. Since he could already has stolen, the pride and staple food of injeera of Ethiopia.
Roosjen, you do not own an African Cuisine, you don’t have the rights to patent 8000-year old tradition food from Ethiopia. How dear you, you should retract it and be glad to mother, that you can still import this food and the flour itself. The Ethiopian partners of yours should stop selling to you. Since, you have betrayed their tradition and their cuisine, they should boycott you and yours families business.
A Dutch Company and a Dutch Man is lucky to be able to trade the commodity, they should sanction the man. The farmers, the traders in Addis Ababa, the ones who has traded with his company and the ones licensing sale to him. Should stop immediately, he doesn’t deserve it. Because he has stolen part of the pride of Ethiopia. No one has the right to do so. No-One has the right to do so, it is insulting and demeaning.
Daba, Tadessa – ‘Nutritional and Soio-Cultural Values of Teff (Eragrostis tef) in Ethiopia’ (May 2017)