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US Declares Iraqis Can not Save their Own Seeds

As part of sweeping 'economic restructuring' implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds, which include seeds the Iraqis themselves have developed over hundreds of years.

Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations. That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples.

In a short time, Iraq will be living under the new American credo: 'Pay Monsanto or starve.' The American Administrator of the Iraqi CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) government, Paul Bremer, updated Iraq's intellectual property law to 'meet current internationally-recognized standards of protection'. The updated law makes saving seeds for next year's harvest, practiced by 97% of Iraqi farmers in 2002, and the standard farming practice for thousands of years across human civilizations, now illegal. Instead, farmers will have to obtain a yearly license for genetically modified (GM) seeds from American corporations.