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Another Step Towards Mass Starvation?

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posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 04:07 PM

Monsanto is hooking up with small companies in research and development deals to try and keep potential technology from falling into the hands of rivals Syngenta and DuPont ....[Monsanto and Israel-based Evogene] are expanding the scope of their partnership to include discovering "genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization"

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Half the people in the world (2.9 billion) are farmers. Most rely on subsistence farming. They typically use animals instead of machines, manure instead of fertilizers or other chemicals, and plant saved seed. In the densely populated countries of Monsoon Asia such as India and China, agriculture still provides the economic base. Recent famines in Africa were the result of changes (encouraged by government) from traditional subsistence agriculture to production of non-food crops for export combined with recurring droughts (or war).

Although planting of GMO corn was not legal in Mexico, GMO contamination has been discovered all over Mexico. Recently Mexico passed two laws relating to GMO seeds: the Biosecurity Law and the Law of Seed Production, Certification, and Sale. These set the stage for the planting of GMO corn, and the criminalization of farmers found to have crops contaminated by GMO genes.

Monsanto owns 90% of GMO seed patents globally. It is infamous for its aggressive legal action against farmers whose crops are unwittingly contaminated by Monsanto’s patented varieties. For the moment, Monsanto is content to wait before taking Mexican farmers to court to formalize their patent rights.


The Monsanto expansion is triggered by the GLOBAL DIVERSITY TREATY: OR How to legally steal seeds from farmers, patent the DNA , and sue those who do not buy for Patent Infringement

Note the only ones who do not benefit are the farmers who originally owned the seed genetics. They will be forced to buy seed (and chemicals) or be sued. As farmers fall into debt from paying for seed, chemicals and equipment their land will be bought by corporations or the wealthy, leaving farmers to starve or suicide. Who really benefits from this treaty, corporations or farmers?

Why the Treaty is important:
The first meeting of the Governing Body of the International Treaty marks an historic moment for the future of food security. But why should anyone be interested in an extremely technical piece
of international law? Here are some of the reasons why the Treaty is important.

A treaty for agriculture. The Treaty is the first international law to deal specifically with the needs of agriculture. It covers the rich diversity hidden within the genes of the thousands of varieties of crops that feed humanity. From the very first domestication of a wild species—possibly a
more than 12 000 years ago—agriculture has always depended on the exchange of genetic resources. The Treaty will make it easier for farmers and breeders to continue sharing those resources so that they can meet new challenges in the future. Challenges to farmers and agriculture do not stand still. New pests and diseases and changing growing conditions can only be addressed if farmers and scientists have access to as wide a range of resources as possible. By guaranteeing that access, the Treaty guarantees the future of agriculture.

A multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing. By signing up to the Treaty, countries gain
access to the genetic resources of all other signatories. This is much more effective than the alternative, which would require countries to negotiate bilaterally for access, especially when one considers that a new variety may count hundreds of varieties from scores of countries in its pedigree. Initially the multilateral system applies to 64 crops and forages that represent most of the crops that humanity depends on for its food supply.

Benefit-sharing. The ‘owners’ of a commercialized product that incorporates material obtained through the multilateral system will pay a royalty into a special fund. Money from this fund will be used to boost conservation efforts in developing countries. Cash, however, is perhaps the least significant of the benefits that will flow from the Treaty, which also envisages information exchange, access to technology and transfer of technology.

Benefits from the system will arise from royalties levied on commercial products developed using material of crops that have been included in the system. Thirty-five of the world’s most important food crops and a similar number of forages are covered by the terms regulating the multilateral system. The royalty payment has been set at 1.1% of sales. It is mandatory if the product is unavailable for further breeding and research. Payments are voluntary if the products are available for further use. The funds will be devoted to conservation efforts, mainly in developing countries.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Mod Edit: All Caps – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 4/9/2008 by Mirthful Me]

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