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International Seeds Day April 26, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in corporations, farms, free market, justice, news, politics, science.
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Organizations, activists and people from various professional and linguistic backgrounds will observe April 26 as International Seeds Day (ISD) advocating for patent-free seeds, organic food and farmers’ rights. ISD will be an educational day for the public to learn about genetically modified food and its health hazardous effects and the agribusiness of major US and European companies and their monopoly over the agriculture in Africa and Asia with emphasis on India, Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be a day of solidarity with farmers in countries devastated by war (Afghanistan, Iraq & others) and of resistance.

Why April 26?

Order 81 was signed on April 26, 2004 by Paul Bremer, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq to control Iraq’s agriculture. The Order was a declaration of war against farmers. Article 14 of this law states “Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties,” Order 81 mends Iraq’s original law No. 65 on patents, created in 1970. The most significant part of Order 81 is the subject of ‘Plant Variety Protection’ (PVP), which ensures not the protection of biodiversity, but rather the protection of the commercial interests of USA and European major seed corporations. In order to qualify for PVP, seeds have to be ‘new, distinct, uniform and stable’. Therefore, the sort of seeds being encouraged to grow by corporations such as World Wide Wheat Company (WWWC), Monsanto and others will be those registered under PVP. (Go to a href=”http://www.ineas.org/events.htm target=_new>http://www.ineas.org/events.htm for more info.)

Why Scientists Are Against GMO Seed Patents

The following statement was submitted by 26 leading corn insect scientists to the EPA protesting the problems created by allowing corporations to patent genetically modified food sources. These scientists, who work at public research institutions located in 16 corn producing states, represent all scientists have participating in federally recognized research in solving pest problem related to insecticides and other related issues. There independent research intersects that of international seed manufacturers promising seed products that reduce or eliminate the need for externally applied pesticides. The problem scientists have with international seed manufacturers is explained below:

“Technology/stewardship agreements required for the purchase of genetically modified seed explicitly prohibit research. These agreements inhibit public scientists from pursuing their mandated role on behalf of the public good unless the research is approved by industry. As a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology, its performance, its management implications, IRM, and its interactions with insect biology. Consequently, data flowing to an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel from the public sector is unduly limited.”

A more fundamental problem identified by the Institute of Science in Society is the effort of corporation to gain complete control of science. Our governments allowing them patents is more evidence that government are partners in their monopolistic agenda. (see ISIS article Corporate Monopoly of Science)

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