The new attempt to modify the current Law 20247, like the previous ones, contains elements that alarm us and that make us express once again our overwhelming rejection of any more regressive modification of the current law.
Let's say NO to the modification of the Seed Law!
Sign HERE the letter below and send it to the Legislators of the National Agriculture Commission, to express the rejection of any modification, which only favors the advancement of corporate control over seeds, a heritage of the peoples at the service of humanity (by filling in the data in the form below, the letter will automatically be sent to the Legislators of the Commission.)
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Facebook: Multisectorial against the “Monsanto” Seed Law
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TEXT OF THE LETTER
The Multisectoral No to the Monsanto Law, and the undersigned persons to the Legislators and National Legislators:
NO TO THE AMENDMENT OF THE SEED LAW
Argentina, October 2016
Finally, on October 13, the Executive Power presented the Seed Law Project in the National Congress.
This project was born from the closed negotiations between the Macri government, the transnational corporations and the big producers. Negotiations that, as happened in the reform attempts carried out by the Kirchner government since 2012, leave out the needs and interests of family farmers, peasant-indigenous communities, consumers, and those directly affected by agribusiness.
That is why the new attempt to modify the current Law 20247, like the previous ones, contains elements that alarm us and that make us express again our overwhelming rejection of any more regressive modification of the current law.
To begin with, the strategy seems to be to introduce minor but regressive changes that advance step by step in the imposition of UPOV 91 in the face of the rejections that exist for the modification of the law.
In the first place, and as had been announced, the project seeks to limit the "own use" of the seeds, stating that everyone who has bought "protected" seeds (art 4) must pay royalties "during the three (3) multiplications after the acquisition of the seed, for all the seed reserved for own use ”. It also adds "From the fourth multiplication inclusive only for incremental use"; In other words, in the event that the cultivation area is expanded, the payment must be permanent (since the duration it would have in that case is not clarified). The limitation of the basic right to save seed for cultivation, inherent in the very existence of agriculture, is unacceptable and we reject it outright. Because the diversity and richness of our diet depends on the possibility that family farmers have had for centuries to save, improve and create new, nutritious and healthy foods. We cannot allow free access to seed, the fundamental sustenance of the culture and work of our small farmers, to be impeded.
Secondly, the "exception" to the payment of royalties raised in article 4 for those who have a billing less than "three (3) times the amount corresponding to the highest category of monotributista" is another mockery that only seeks to legitimize the limitation of own use trying to get small family farmers to accept the modification. In practical terms, controls will fall on all farmers. But the project also states that "In each purchase of seed, the value that the owner of the right or its licensee may require for the use of its technology incorporated into the plant variety must be established," which leaves the owner free to establish the amount of the royalty, which may be exaggerated or abusive.
Thirdly, what is stated in article 1 ° "The NATIONAL SEED INSTITUTE will have access to any crop or crop product in any place that it is, in order to verify the legality of the seed that gave rise to it, in compliance of this law ”implies the installation of a police system to persecute farmers in which the State assumes the task of working for the corporations, monitoring and controlling the entire production chain. The regulation of this article could make things much worse, introducing, for example, the possibility of intervening with private security forces and without judicial intervention. This is strengthened by Article 6, which states that whoever “does not allow samples to be taken of the crop or crop product, does not provide or falsify information that is required by this law, will be punished with a warning or a fine of one thousand pesos. ($ 1,000) to sixty thousand pesos ($ 60,000). "
Fourth, Article 3 states that: “When a protected or unprotected variety is used that contains a patented element, the patent owner may not prevent the use of said variety, whether or not it contains the protected technology for the purposes of experimentation or obtaining of a new phytogenetic creation ”. In this way, the possibility of patenting seeds and plants is accepted, an issue that in Argentina is strictly prohibited by current legislation (including both its physical components such as shoots, seeds, stems, cells, fruits, bulbs, as well as cellular components such as organelles, membranes, DNA molecules, genetic sequence, etc.). This means non-patentability and the possibility of patenting genes is currently in dispute in the Supreme Court of Justice. We absolutely reject the possibility of any kind of patents on life. Allowing the regulatory framework to admit these patents is to further deepen the agribusiness model, accepting that large companies appropriate the multiple knowledge that farmers have accumulated in the seed for millennia, through their care and improvement. In turn, this article closes by stating that: "However, for the purposes of commercial exploitation the consent of the owner of the patent right or its licensee will be required." With which it is established that whoever carries out the research must finally pay royalties in order to have "the consent" of the patent owner.
Finally, the administration and direction of the INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE SEMILLAS (INASE) is made up of a board of 12 people, 6 of which are representatives of the private sector. Considering that many of the other parties (INTA, Ministry of agroindustry) have interests close to those of the private sector, we consider that this structure for INASE is inadmissible since in no way can it represent the interests of our people in the face of such a fundamental issue . This organism thus constituted consolidates the complicity built years ago between the corporations, the State and the hegemonic research system, which guarantee the appropriation of the seed and the knowledge for the gain of a few and the misery of the majority.
The more than 50 social organizations that make up the Multisectoral No to the Monsanto Seed Law and the undersigned understand that this new attempt to modify the seed law is framed in a capitalist system that, for decades, has sought to convert our assets commons (nature, knowledge) in commodities for the profit and growth of the power of a few. Throughout our continent, reforms have been carried out steadily so that large corporations obtain profits that we peoples pay with the contamination of our places of life, with the loss of our resources for subsistence, including, with our own health. The Free Trade Agreements, which have advanced in the last decades in our continent, try to extend and consolidate these reforms despite our resistance and multiple struggles. That is why we know that today the seed has become the heart of the profits of the big transnationals. But we also know that it is the beginning of our nutrition and our life.
For this reason, we consider that they are inalienable principles for the approach of a Seed Law in Argentina:
1- The rejection of all forms of intellectual property on seeds. Agricultural seeds have been and continue to be a collective creation of the peoples and the attempts of appropriation and privatization through breeder rights, patents or quality standards are a threat to the food sovereignty of the peoples.
2- Guarantee the free circulation, exchange and trade of native and creole seeds, preventing their appropriation and monopoly by corporations.
3- Revalue and re-legitimize the local, traditional and ancestral knowledge, knowledge, beliefs and practices of peasant women and men, indigenous people and Afro-descendants and other communities.
4- Promote and guarantee the use of creole and native seeds within the framework of an impulse to agroecological production in the hands of peasants, family producers and producers and native peoples.
5- Abandon the impulse to agribusiness, the corporate control of our agriculture, the use of transgenic seeds and the application of pesticides and the delivery of our natural goods through Free Trade Agreements; promoting an urgent transition towards a peasant-based regional agroecological model with real participation of the communities involved. In this sense, we consider it urgent and essential to advance in a comprehensive agrarian reform process that recovers the territory for the social majorities.
The more than 10,000 years that the native peoples, peasants and peasants of the world have been feeding humanity without limiting their right to free exchange is the best proof that this is the way forward.
At the same time, the loss of 75% of agricultural seeds produced in the last 60 years due to industrial agriculture (according to FAO data) shows that agribusiness, its GMOs and agro-toxins and the seed laws they promote are destroying the main heritage that we peoples have to guarantee our food in the future.
Along with this, the codependency to the neoliberal economy, typical of the current agrarian, industrial and capitalist model, which has generated millions of deaths and diseases, displaced entire towns towards the poorest areas of the cities, causing terrible deforestation, rendering millions of hectares unusable. of land by leaving them without nutrients, generating more and more pollution as well as more inequality relationships; has shown that this is NOT the way to go.
Ladies legislators, gentlemen legislators: you are responsible with the laws that you pass whether this process continues or is reversed. The peoples will be attentive and vigilant to the consequences of their actions.
The seeds are a Heritage of the Peoples at the Service of Humanity!
NO TO THE NEW MONSANTO SEED LAW!
NO TO THE PRIVATIZATION OF SEEDS AND LIFE!
GET OUT MONSANTO AND THE AGRIBUSINESS CORPORATIONS OF LATIN AMERICA!
FOR AN AGRICULTURE TO FEED AND IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLES!
Multisectoral NO to the Monsanto Seed Law
GRAIN, Action for Biodiversity, Popular Front Darío Santillán - CN, Handkerchiefs in Rebellion, Land to Live in COB La Brecha, Greenpeace Argentina, Calisa Fauba Free Chair of Food Sovereignty of FAUBA, ECOS of Saladillo, NGO Nature of Rights, Tinta Collective Verde, Patria Grande, PTS on the Left Front, Network of healthy plants and good living of Buenos Aires, Huerquen, collective communication, Association for Environmental Justice - AJAM -, Friends of the Earth Argentina, National Indigenous Peasant Movement MNCI - Via Campesina, Ecosocialist Network of Argentina, MST New Left Workers' Socialist Movement, Río Bravo - Space of Territorial Struggle, Lujan University Front, Movement for Latin American Unity and Regional Social Change Bs As Oeste and Santa Fe Regional, Red National Lawyers of Fumigated Peoples, Free Chair of Food Sovereignty of Nutrition UBA, National Network of Ecological Action Renace, CTA - Autónoma, As amblea No to the delivery of the Quilmes-Avellaneda Coast, All 25 until Monsanto leaves, Liberation Student Movement, Semillas Documentary Collective, Semillas de Libertad Network, MPR Quebracho, CTD Aníbal Verón, Student Liberation Movement, Our American Workers Current 19 December and Free Chair of Food Sovereignty of the UNLP, Environmental Assembly of the City of Buenos Aires, BePe civil association, Maela, Acampa - Abaucán Peasant Association.
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Biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean