[ExI] (The Independent 2013-08) Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Mon Sep 23 20:35:08 UTC 2013

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM, Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
>> >
>> > If you were swimming in the open seas, would you want to be thrown a
>> > generic safety raft or just a raft?
>> I would accept whatever is offered, of course. The patent issue really
>> only comes into play when the raft is purchased. If the rescue service
>> is soliciting donations to buy rafts, donors may well care whether the
>> rafts are produced by for-profit ventures or by non-profits. It could
>> be that rafts produced by the for-profit makers are a better value,
>> but donors may still balk at the idea of a portion of their donation
>> going toward the CEO's Porsche payment.
> This talk changed my opinion about that. I suggest you take a few minutes
> and see if it doesn't change yours too.
> http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

Not really. I'm not hung up on the overhead factor of charities that I
donate to. But charity CEOs making commercially-competitive salaries
is going to be a hard sell for lots of would-be donors. I'm not
wealthy, and when I donate, I want my donation to go someone who needs
it, not someone who feels they deserve it.

>> If Plumpy'nut were produced by an entity that *didn't* enforce
>> intellectual property rights on others who want to produce similar
>> products (locally and more cheaply) then more starving people could be
>> saved at less cost. That kind of pisses me off and makes me not want
>> to support them.
> I don't think this is factually correct.

What fact did I state that you disagree with?

> The patent could be used to enforce
> local production of the paste, which would provide local jobs, as stated in
> the article. If Monsanto moved in, the local production would be overwhelmed
> by cheaper goods, and the local jobs would evaporate. I don't think it is as
> simple as you say here.

I'm sorry, I can't follow what you're saying. If Nutriset didn't
enforce the Plumpy'nut patent, locals could produce a fortified peanut
butter more cheaply. How would Monsanto "moving in" affect that?


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