Today it is World Food Day:

"EU: "Patents on seeds disastrous for farmers in developing countries"

"I find it unacceptable that a handful of multinational corporations controls access to agricultural seeds for millions of farmers worldwide," says Marinus Verweij, CEO of ICCO. "This causes growers in developing countries not to use their own seed anymore. They have to buy the seeds from a large company like Monsanto, something many farmers can’t even afford. Poverty and malnutri tion. The consequences are dramatic."

ICCO, FIAN International and Brot fur die Welt presented the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch in Rome last week: Alternatives and Resistance to Policies That Generate Hunger. The report examines international political developments that undermine the right to food, resulting in hunger and malnutrition. Today, On 16 October, World Food Day, a symposium entitled ‘Greed for Seeds’ in The Hague will focus on the impact of patenting agricultural seed.

Verweij: "Crops that have been sown and harvested for generations, are analysed and then patented by multinational companies, forbidding growers to use their own agricultural seeds. If they do, then they get fines...”

The International Convention for phylogenetic sources (2001) emphasizes the rights of farmers to cross, to trade and to multiply seeds themselves. The current global trend to further commercialize seeds, puts this right under heavy pressure.

About FIAN and ICCO

FIAN International is an international human rights organization for the right to food. Development organization ICCO works towards a world in which people can live without poverty and injustice. 

Right to Food and Nutrition Watch

The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch is issued since 2008 by an international consortium of civil society organizations. The Watch monitors the annual policy of states and international organizations related to the realization of the right to food and is a strong signal to policymakers. During the symposium on October 16 in The Hague, Bob Brac (the author of the article on patenting of seeds) will be present.

Source: ICCO

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