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Author Topic: New law to prevent Iraqi farmers saving seeds
lagatta
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posted 18 October 2004 06:18 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
New legislation will effectively prevent Iraqi farmers from saving their seeds for the next crop, turning the seed market over to transnationals, threatening food security and biodiversity: Threat to Iraqi farmers
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 October 2004 08:21 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There it is again, that trick the Americans have of giving something a name that is the exact opposite of its reality:

quote:
the new law - on plant variety protection (PVP)

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 18 October 2004 08:39 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not content to simply control the oil, I see. Hearts and minds...
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
gula
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posted 18 October 2004 11:20 AM      Profile for gula     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hearts, minds and now stomachs.

I have 2 questions, though:

1. How would they enforce it? and

2. Since this whole occupation is illegal couldn't the Iraqis, when and if they get their country back simply throw out this and any other laws that were written during the occupation?


From: Montréal | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 18 October 2004 12:05 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
IANAL, but:

1. new "advances" in seed technology have enabled genetic designers to create a seed that "self destructs", ie: is not viable for a second round planting (source: "The Corporation")

2. it's likely part and parcel of international trade agreements, such that if Iraq rejects it, they're rejecting a number of other agreements and perhaps even rejecting their own participation in various trade, ie: these restrictions could be the bathwater; trade in medicines or other food technologies could be the baby.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
gula
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posted 18 October 2004 12:15 PM      Profile for gula     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am glad to see that you put "advances" entre guillemets. Self-destructing seeds? What will they stop at?

You may be right on the second part. Hopefully the rest of the world will be willing to renegotiate the most egregious abuses at least imposed on the Iraqis.


From: Montréal | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 18 October 2004 12:38 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is just sick. Bastards!
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 October 2004 12:48 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, Magoo. Interesting to see you're less gung-ho about trashing the Iraqi farmers who don't want this stuff any more than that guy in Saskatchewan did, but boy, were you ever down on him, and he at least had legal recourse.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 18 October 2004 12:56 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It would be interesting to build links of solidarity between Saskatchewan (and other) farmers and their colleagues in Iraq.

We'll have to go over our long-ago histories of ancient civilisations and the dawn of agriculture ... notably in the Fertile Crescent aka Iraq.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 18 October 2004 12:56 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When was this? You don't mean Percy Schmeisser, do you? Because I hoped he'd kick some genetically modified ass. Gotta link?
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
gula
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posted 18 October 2004 03:28 PM      Profile for gula     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just read this long but excellent article by Naomi Klein.

Could this apply to the grain situation? The way I read it, the laws introduced since the occupation coul actually all be reversed.

"When Paul Bremer shredded Iraq’s Baathist constitution and replaced it with what The Economist greeted approvingly as “the wish list of foreign investors,” there was one small detail he failed to mention: It was all completely illegal. The CPA derived its legal authority from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, passed in May 2003, which recognized the United States and Britain as Iraq’s legitimate occupiers. It was this resolution that empowered Bremer to unilaterally make laws in Iraq. But the resolution also stated that the U.S. and Britain must “comply fully with their obligations under international law including in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907.” Both conventions were born as an attempt to curtail the unfortunate historical tendency among occupying powers to rewrite the rules so that they can economically strip the nations they control. With this in mind, the conventions stipulate that an occupier must abide by a country’s existing laws unless “absolutely prevented” from doing so. They also state that an occupier does not own the “public buildings, real estate, forests and agricultural assets” of the country it is occupying but is rather their “administrator” and custodian, keeping them secure until sovereignty is reestablished."

"At first, Plan B seemed to be right on track. Bremer persuaded the Iraqi Governing Council to agree to everything: the new timetable, the interim government, and the interim constitution. He even managed to slip into the constitution a completely overlooked clause, Article 26. It stated that for the duration of the interim government, “The laws, regulations, orders and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority . . . shall remain in force” and could only be changed after general elections are held."

"But if major corporate investors were going to come to Iraq in the future, they would need a stronger guarantee that Bremer’s economic laws would stick. There was only one way of doing that: the Security Council resolution had to ratify the interim constitution, which locked in Bremer’s laws for the duration of the interim government. But al Sistani once again objected, this time unequivocally, saying that the constitution has been “rejected by the majority of the Iraqi people.” On June 8 the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that endorsed the handover plan but made absolutely no reference to the constitution. "

Link to whole article:

http://www.harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html


From: Montréal | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 October 2004 10:07 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This thread, and I was mistaken. It was The Oatmeal Savage that time.

[ 18 October 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 19 October 2004 08:18 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Could this apply to the grain situation? The way I read it, the laws introduced since the occupation coul actually all be reversed.

I think you're right, gula, that this story, like so many others in Iraq, is not over yet -- which is why creative activism of the kind lagatta suggests above would be a good idea. How could that be organized?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 19 October 2004 11:55 AM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It seems to me I watched a special on India in which corporations such as Monsanto did the same thing , forcing farmers to use their seed exclusively. Indian farmers being frugal smart business people began duplicating the seed and selling it on the black market. I believe that Monsanto finally gave up.
Seeds that will self destruct though would stop pirating unless the farmers could modify the plant somehow, perhaps crossing it with a native variety.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 19 October 2004 12:09 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's necessary to make sure the farmers are able to get non-GM seed; that it is available and affordable. It is insane anyway to have all crops with the same genetic makeup; one disease could destroy the whole crop. And of course Monsanto wants farmers to be forced to buy seed every year, also to buy fertiliser, weedkiller, etc., each year. [Like a Barbie doll; gotta have all the accessories, too!]

Also, GM crops tend to contaminate non-GM crops; if the GM crops do not generate viable seed, might they still contaminate other crops and make them also unable to generate viable seed?

The point of growing grain is that you harvest the grainseed to eat or to plant next season. What is different about GM grainseed that it does not reproduce? Does this also harm its quality for eating?


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 October 2004 12:50 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I doubt its edibility is affected, but its different DNA might trigger new allergic reactions because our bodies do not always efficiently break up DNA in the gut (an enzyne called a nuclease breaks up DNA in digestion). If undigested fragments cross the villi, then the immune system may overreact, triggering the allergic reaction.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 19 October 2004 01:47 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not just allergies, maybe, but other digestive problems affected by certain foods, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 20 October 2004 03:33 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I expect the particular characteristic put into certain GM seeds that makes the next generation sterile wouldn't do any harm as far as nutrition was concerned. But there could be accidental others which do.
One major problem, nutritionally, with GM foods in general is that while they do check to make sure the inserted gene/s is making what they want it to, they have no real way to check what *else* it might be making. It turns out that the average gene encodes about three or four proteins (presumably some more, some less), and just what proteins it makes depends on what else is around in the genome. So not only may an inserted gene be expressing other proteins that it always used to express in whatever organism it came from, but the corporation doesn't know that because they don't know or care about whatever else that gene did--not only that, but it may also be expressing entirely *new* proteins because it's exposed to new helper chemicals that fold or slice differently from what it's used to. There's no real way of predicting what the danged things are going to do, and there's some evidence that in some existing cases the results are nutritionally bad.

When you add in the fact that genetic "engineering" involves shotgunning genes into the new genome at random locations (almost literally--attached to tiny metal balls that they blast into cells), possibly in places where they split an existing gene in two, the possible consequences are totally unknown, which is probably why they've been avoiding actual safety testing like the plague. And then making lying claims that they've been extensively tested, which they have not.

. . . of course, all this is off topic. I came back to this thread because while I had nothing to say that hadn't been said already, I was just fascinated by how politically stupid a move it was. I mean, if I were a US military man I'd be getting ready to frag whoever came up with this one. Just goes to show how even now, with the Iraq situation continuing to unravel and maybe ready to cost them the election, the Bushies can't get off their basic orientation of handing the spoils to their corporate cronies/masters/selves long enough to see a hearts-and-minds disaster when it's staring them in the face. Heck, they may be *planning* to bankrupt the Iraqi farmers to make room for US agricultural exports, but that's equally insane. The bottom line is, Iraqi farmers can't afford this Monsanto crap. Any farmer that didn't hate the US with a passion before sure will now. And this isn't as important as a few bucks for their chemical/agribusiness pals? Solipsism, man. It's totally freaky.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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