For the record: “U.S. declares Iraqis can not save their own seeds”
“As part of sweeping “economic restructuring” implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds, which include seeds the Iraqis themselves have developed over hundreds of years. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations. 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 .”
“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, and is the standard farming practice for thousands of years across human civilizations, to be now illegal.. Instead, farmers will have to obtain a yearly license for genetically modified (GM) seeds from American corporations. These GM seeds have typically been modified from seeds developed over thousands of generations by indigenous farmers like the Iraqis, and shared freely like agricultural ‘open source.'”
Iraq law Requires Seed Licenses November 13, 2004
“According to Order 81, paragraph 66 – [B], issued by L. Paul Bremer [CFR], the people in Iraq are now prohibited from saving seeds and may only plant seeds for their food from licensed, authorized U.S. distributors.
The paragraph states, “Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties or any variety mentioned in items 1 and 2 of paragraph [C] of Article 14 of this chapter.”
Written in massively intricate legalese, Order 81 directs the reader at Article 14, paragraph 2 [C] to paragraph [B] of Article 4, which states any variety that is different from any other known variety may be registered in any country and become a protected variety of seed – thus defaulting it into the “protected class” of seeds and prohibiting the Iraqis from reusing them the following season. Every year, the Iraqis must destroy any seed they have, and repurchase seeds from an authorized supplier, or face fines, penalties and/or jail time.”
Iraqis Can’t Save Seed January 19, 2005
The original article on this topic: Iraqi farmers aren’t celebrating October 15, 2004
As per an Iraqi proverb, the day will come, sooner rather than later, when the Iraqis will shred Bremer’s Laws, soak them in water and offer the glass to Bremer to drink.