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"Mexican Farmers Block Monsanto Law to Privatize Plants and Seeds" [View All]

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-23-12 07:27 PM
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"Mexican Farmers Block Monsanto Law to Privatize Plants and Seeds"
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Mexican Farmers Block Monsanto Law to Privatize Plants and Seeds

By Alfredo Acedo

Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents. When the corporations pushed their bill to modify the Federal Law on Plant Varieties through the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on March 14, organizations of farmers from across the country sounded the alarm. By organizing quickly, they joined together to pressure legislators and achieved an agreement with the legislative committee to remove the bill from the floor.

Whats at stake is free and open access to plant biodiversity in agriculture. The proposed modifications promote a privatizing model that uses patents and Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) to deprive farmers of the labor of centuries in developing seed. The small farmers who worked to create this foundation of modern agriculture never charged royalties for its use.

Although the current law, in effect since 1996, pays little heed to the rights of small farmers, the new law would be far worse. Present law tends to benefit private-sector plant breeders, allowing monopolies to obtain exclusive profits from the sale of seeds and other plant material for up to 15 years, or 18 in the case of perennial ornamental, forest, or orchard plantseven when the plants they used to develop the new varieties are in the public domain.

The legislative reform would extend exclusive rights from the sale of reproductive material to 25 years. Further, it seeks to restrict the rights of farmers to store or use for their own consumption any part of the harvest obtained from seeds or breeding material purchased from holders of PBRs.

The proposed law would also include genetically modified organisms (GMOs) among the plant varieties covered, converging with the so-called Monsanto Law (Law of Biosecurity and Genetically Modified Organisms). This is an absurd inclusion, since GMOs are created by introducing genetic material from non-plant species.

MORE and a Good Read at......

http://www.nationofchange.org/print/16391
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