Tuesday, November 23, 2004

VegSource.com: Iraqi Farmers Aren't Celebrating World Food Day

VegSource.com: "As part of sweeping 'economic restructuring' implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations -- including seeds the Iraqis themselves developed over hundreds of years. That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples. In a short time, Iraq will be living under the new American credo: Pay Monsanto, or starve.

When the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) celebrated biodiversity on World Food Day on October 16, Iraqi farmers were mourning its loss.
A new report [1] by GRAIN and Focus on the Global South has found that new legislation in Iraq has been carefully put in place by the US that prevents farmers from saving their seeds and effectively hands over the seed market to transnational corporations. This is a disastrous turn of events for Iraqi farmers, biodiversity and the country's food security. While political sovereignty remains an illusion, food sovereignty for the Iraqi people has been made near impossible by these new regulations.

'The US has been imposing patents on life around the world through trade deals. In this case, they invaded the country first, then imposed their patents. This is both immoral and unacceptable', said Shalini Bhutani, one of the report's authors."


At 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, VegSource incorrectly reported the article from GRAIN.

Although Iraq is most certainly being used to promote "free-market" agriculture with the ultimate loss of farmer species, it is more subtle than reported by vegsource.

Far better, is to see the original news release from GRAIN and their full article here.


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