Law on property rights of vegetable seeds repealed in Guatemala

Law on property rights of vegetable seeds repealed in Guatemala

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The elimination of the law comes after last August 29, the Constitutional Court (CC), the highest legal body in Guatemala, suspended the regulations due to the request of various peasant organizations.

Added to this were the criticisms and demonstrations from other social groups that opposed the decree, signed on June 26 and which was to officially enter into force on September 26.

The law established and protected the intellectual property of new plant varieties in the country, according to article one.

According to social organizations that opposed the rule, it received the green light from the Guatemalan Parliament in June with 81 votes in favor, one more than necessary for its ratification, without prior consultation or debate and taking advantage of the population's distraction with the World Cup. Brazil 2014 soccer.

The law implied that any plant variety genetically modified by artificial selection, crossing or genetic alteration could be patented and the validity of the right of the "breeder" (author) would have a duration of 25 years for trees and vines and 20 for the rest of the crops.

Persons or entities that produce protected material without authorization will be punished with imprisonment of one to four years and a fine between 1,000 and 10,000 quetzals (130 and 1,300 dollars), according to Article 50 of said legislation.

The approval of the law was one of the commitments assumed by the State of Guatemala as part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) agreements signed in 2005 between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States.

The local media and social organizations have dubbed it the "Monsanto Law", in reference to the transnational Monsanto firm that is dedicated to developing new crops with genetic improvements, and which according to them could exclusively own local varieties.

EFE Agency

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