Tuesday, November 16, 2004

US Destorys Iraqi Agricultural Tradtion - and Line Monsanto's Pockets

The American Administrator of the Iraqi CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) government, Paul Bremer, updated Iraq's intellectual property law to 'meet current internationally-recognized standards of protection.' The updated law makes saving seeds for next year's harvest, practiced by 97% of Iraqi farmers in 2002, the standard farming practice for thousands of years across human civilizations, newly illegal. Instead, farmers will have to obtain a yearly license for genetically modified seeds from American corporations. These GM seeds have typically been modified from IP developed over thousands of generations by indigenous farmers like the Iraqis, shared freely like agricultural 'open source.' Other IP provisions for technology in the law further integrate Iraq into the American IP economy.


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