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Re: US outlaws seed saving by Iraq farmers

  • Subject: Re: [cg] US outlaws seed saving by Iraq farmers
  • From: Pat_Elazar@cwb.ca
  • Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 07:37:36 -0600

This article is misleading (IMHO). Nowhere does it say that Iraqi farmers
cant save or plant seed from their own land-race varieties which will be
(again IMHO) far superior to any western franken-seeds for their own
particular conditions.

Eventually, Iraqi scientists freed from developing bio-warfare products,
will breed local varieties to fill the marketplace alongside "metro-local"
commercial varieties from Saudi Arabia, Egypt & Israel like in all of the
other agricultural countries in the middle east. They will want to retain
the profits of their investments as do the Egyptians & Israelis.


                                                                                                                 
                      "Don Boekelheide"                                                                          
                      <dboekelheide@yahoo.com        To:       community_garden@mallorn.com                      
                      >                              cc:                                                         
                      Sent by:                       Subject:  [cg] Monsanto takes Seminis Seeds: US outlaws     
                      community_garden-admin@         seed saving by Iraq farmers                                
                      mallorn.com                                                                                
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                      01/25/2005 09:45 PM                                                                        
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 




Two bits of truly dismal news to go along with today's
report on the reality of global warming,  from Sam
Smith's excellent daily email news service, the
Progressive Review (to subscribe (free - but then send
him support):
prorev-subscribe@topica.com. -DB

US OUTLAWS SAVING SEED BY IRAQI FARMERS

GRAIN - When former Coalition Provisional Authority
administrator L. Paul Bremer III left Baghdad after
the so-called "transfer of sovereignty" in June 2004,
he left behind the 100 orders he enacted as chief of
the occupation authority in Iraq. Among them is Order
81 on "Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed
Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety."
This order amends Iraq's original patent law of 1970
and unless and until it is revised or repealed by a
new Iraqi government, it now has the status and force
of a binding law.  With important implications for
farmers and the future of agriculture in Iraq, this
order is yet another important component in the United
States' attempts to radically transform Iraq's
economy.

For generations, small farmers in Iraq operated in an
essentially unregulated, informal seed supply system.
Farm-saved seed and the free innovation with and
exchange of planting materials among farming
communities has long been the basis of agricultural
practice. This has been made illegal under the new
law. The seeds farmers are now allowed to plant -
"protected" crop varieties brought into Iraq by
transnational corporations in the name of agricultural
reconstruction - will be the property of the
corporations. While historically the Iraqi
constitution prohibited private ownership of
biological resources, the new US-imposed patent law
introduces a system of monopoly rights over seeds. . .


The rights granted to plant breeders in this scheme
include the exclusive right to produce, reproduce,
sell, export, import and store the protected
varieties. . . The term of the monopoly is 20 years
for crop varieties and 25 for trees and vines. During
this time the protected variety de facto becomes the
property of the breeder, and nobody can plant or
otherwise use this variety without compensating the
breeder. This new law means that Iraqi farmers can
neither freely legally plant nor save for re-planting
seeds of any plant variety registered under the plant
variety provisions of the new patent law. This
deprives farmers what they and many others worldwide
claim as their inherent right to save and replant
seeds. . .

Iraq is one more arena in a global drive for the
adoption of seed patent laws protecting the monopoly
rights of multinational corporations at the expense of
local farmers. Over the past decade, many countries of
the South have been compelled to adopt seed patent
laws through bilateral treaties. . .


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