Seeds. Strange things, these seeds. They look like, well, seeds, and then one day they are plants. Seems simple and natural, but capital never leaves well enough alone. Global Capital and the Empire are always on the hunt for more accumulation and more profits, and more ways to exploit the multitudes. As La Via Campesina warned back on March of 2011,
Our agricultural systems are threatened by industries that seek to control our seeds by all available means. The outcome of this war will determine the future of humanity, as all of us depend on seeds for our daily food.
Capital has turned seeds into just another commodity, added patents, genetic engineering and privatized, or is trying to privatize the whole damn thing.
Again from March of 2011,
In their drive to build monopolies and steal our natural wealth, corporations and the governments who serve them place at risk all of humanity’s food and agriculture. A handful of genetically uniform varieties replace thousands of local varieties, eroding the genetic diversity that sustains our food system. Faced with climate change, diversity is a strength, and uniformity a weakness. Commercial seeds drastically reduce the capacity of humanity to face and adapt to climate change. This is why we maintain that peasant agriculture and its peasant seeds contribute to the cooling of the planet.
...hybrid and genetically modified seeds require enormous quantities of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and water, driving up production costs and damaging the environment. Such seeds are also more susceptible to droughts, plant diseases and pest attacks, and have already caused hundreds of thousands of cases of crop failures and have left devastated household economies in their wake. The industry has bred seeds that cannot be cultivated without harmful chemicals. They have also been bred to be harvested using large machinery and are kept alive artificially to withstand transport. But the industry has ignored a very important aspect of this breeding: our health. The result is industrial seeds that grow fast have lost nutritional value and are full of chemicals. They cause numerous allergies and chronic illnesses, and contaminate the soil, water and air that we breathe.
Let us not be mistaken. We are faced with a war for control over seeds. And our common future depends on its outcome. It is through this lens that we must analyze the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), in order to understand what is at stake and what positions we should take.
I don't really know a whole lot of the ins and outs of all this, and because I've spent the day, the week, fooling around with messed up email accounts, I lack the time for the kind of basic research I usually do. So, I am pretty much sticking with La Via Campesina to explain it all...including the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture:
...we must situate the Treaty in its historical context of constant attempts to steal our seeds. The industry and most governments are using the Treaty to legitimate the industry’s access to those peasant seeds that are stored in collections around the world. The Treaty recognizes and legitimizes industrial property over seeds, thus creating the required conditions for theft and monopoly control. In the Treaty, the florid language used to describe Farmers’ Rights entrusts individual states with the responsibility for their implementation. However, states do not apply them. Therefore the mentioning of these rights is only an attempt to inoculate the Treaty against our possible protests and denunciations.
The result is a treaty that legitimates the World Trade Organization (WTO) and laws on industrial property rights. It is therefore legally binding with respect to industrial property rights and the rights of plant breeders, while allowing states not to respect Farmers’ Rights. It is a contradictory and ambiguous treaty, which in the final analysis comes down on the side of theft.
Basically, it sounds to me like the strategic plan of Global Capital in general...which "...in the final analysis comes down on the side of theft."
The following is, of course, from La Via Campesina, but this week.
What we learn is that the fight continues and the multitudes aren't just sitting back willing to take this crap...
- Published on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 20:46