Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Monsanto in Mesopotamia

As part of large-scale privatization scheme, shrewdly enacted before anyone got a chance to vote, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq last spring issued Order 81, which governed "patent, industrial design, undisclosed information, integrated circuits and plant variety law." (Here's a list of links to all the orders--fascinating stuff.)

Appropriately for these times, the edict placed seed germoplasm within the rubric of industrial process, assigning it private ownership to be leveraged perpetually for profit. It was a neat and brazen trick: An occupying army, with the stroke of a pen, institutionalizes its brand of agriculture in one of the birthplaces of agriculture. It was as if Bush and his army had sacked Rome, and handed all the architectural decisions over to Century 21.

The order was, from what I can tell, widely ignored in media. Naomi Klein, in her excellent Harper's article dissecting the privatization scheme, didn't mention it. There has been a lot of loose analysis of order 81 on the Internet, characterized by this this writer, who declared that: "This order prohibits Iraqi farmers from using the methods of agriculture that they have used for centuries. The common worldwide practice of saving heirloom seeds from one year to the next is now illegal in Iraq. Order 81 wages war on Iraqi farmers. They have lost the freedom and liberty to choose their own methods of agriculture."

That's overstated. Here is a careful analysis of Order 81 from Grain, an international NGO that promotes sustainable agriculture. Here is the kernel of the report:

"The CPA has made it illegal for Iraqi farmers to re-use seeds harvested from new varieties registered under the law. Iraqis may continue to use and save from their traditional seed stocks or what’s left of them after the years of war and drought, but that is the not the agenda for reconstruction embedded in the ruling. The purpose of the law is to facilitate the establishment of a new seed market in Iraq, where transnational corporations can sell their seeds – genetically modified or not, which farmers would have to purchase afresh every single cropping season."

So while Order 81 doesn't ban seedsaving per se, it creates a rigorous framework for enforcing the claims of biotech seed companies when they do establish a presence in Iraq. The order awards Monsanto and its ilk a much more generous deal than what's being hammered out, for example, in Argentina, which has generally been heroic over the past couple of years in pursuing its own economic interests over those of the global investment class.

Order 81 gives patent holders a 20-year monopoly over germoplasm; last I checked, Argentina was considering offering only seven years. Degrees of obscenity, to quote J.M. Coetzee.

It will not likely be long before Monsanto is cashing in on this handiwork. According to the Grain piece, a government organization called the US Agency for International Development has been implementing an Agricultural Reconstruction and Development Program for Iraq (ARDI) since October 2003. Think they're encouraging farmers to save heirloom seeds? A little push from ARDI plus a bit of cross-pollination should spell a nice market for Monsanto.


Like all the Orders delivered by fiat of L. Paul Bremer, former occupation chief, Order 81 remains in effect unless and until the new Iraqi government specifically overturns it. Am I being cynical in assuming that the election process will throw up politicians sympathetic to the interests embedded in Bremer's scheme?

Let's close with a summary from Klein in her Harper's piece, discussing the U.S.'s pre-election economic reorganization of Iraq:" If these policies sound familiar, it’s because they are the same ones multinationals around the world lobby for from national governments and in international trade agreements. But while these reforms are only ever enacted in part, or in fits and starts, Bremer delivered them all, all at once."

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

bad car credit loan refinancing
bad credit auto refinancing
bad credit car refinancing
bad credit home refinancing
bad credit mortgage refinancing
bad credit refinancing
bad credit refinancing home loan
credit mortgage poor refinancing
poor credit refinancing
refinancing home with poor credit
bad credit mortgage refinancing

4/27/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.
Oes Tsetnoc | Semangat Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa

11/23/2009 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger 123 123 said...

Cool article you got here. It would be great to read something more concerning this topic.
BTW look at the design I've made myself Young escorts

11/23/2009 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I link wow gold and archlord power levelingor wow gold

2/10/2010 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger qishaya said...

Original christian shoes are first category in alter. They are so much appealing louboutin shoes so, ample of women can not pause to get their hands on them. cheap christian louboutin However, these shoes are not economical. christian louboutin So adequate of women cannot present these shoes. christian louboutin heels Christian Louboutin Replica is presenting the textbook thing for these people. christian louboutin sandals It is present masses of fashionable shoes in an economical rate. christian pumps You know that unique shoes are posh to buy. christian sandals Nevertheless do not think that exchange a shoe with christian louboutin pumps magnificent create of top trait is hard. Now a time model are presented. louboutin pumps But if you hardship attribute cargo look discount christian louboutin for these replicas in a trustworthy position & set an order for your beloved shoes christian louboutin sale

6/10/2010 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger hanly said...

Blu Ray Converter

Convert Blu Ray Mac
Convert Blu Ray to AVI
Convert Blu Ray to DivX
Convert Blu Ray to MKV
Convert Blu Ray to MOV
Convert Blu Ray to MP4
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG2
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG4
Convert Blu Ray to VOB
Convert Blu Ray to WMV
Convert Blu Ray to Xvid
Convert Blu Ray to HD
Convert Blu Ray to HD WMV
Convert Blu Ray to iPod
Convert Blu Ray to PS3
Convert Blu Ray to PSP
Convert Blu Ray to Xbox360

7/29/2010 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you begin to recognize where to shop and how to look for cheap prices, moncler you will see extra money left over every month.You can check a phone book or the internet for outlet stores in your area. moncler Boutique These are great sources for reduced jewelery and clothing because they may be labels that you like. moncler pas cher Usually a big store will have an outlet that backs up its leftover products. moncler prix In it, you might find some of last years merchandise, moncler soldes or things that needed to be removed from the main store to make space for new items. moncler paris Most people walk out of them feeling great with the savings that they made. moncler polo Every store will have a reduced rack somewhere in it. moncler veste Some stores will keep their rack of clearance items at the front, and other places will store it at the back. When you head into a clothing and accessories store, moncler doudoune you should always look for it. You might find something at one store that would work perfect for an item off the reduced rack at another. moncler homme If you have access to the internet, you can try surfing it for some deals.

8/25/2010 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger guangming said...

wholesale nike shoesShop a great selection of authentic Nike shoes&Nike Air Max with reasonable price for the entire families at nike-shoes-max.com.nike shoes 100% quality guaranteed and smooth customer service.UGG Women's Classic Cardy Boots 5819 are available with colorful knit uppers (composed of a wool blend) and a sheepskin sock liner for extra comfort.ugg boots It is detailed with three oversized wood buttons, allowing it to be styled buttoned up, australia uggslouched down, slightly unbuttoned, or completely cuffed down. They have a light and flexible EVA outsole along with a suede heel guard provides durable wear all season long. That is why it is one of several styles that have been all time favorites with women.

8/30/2010 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous La Liga Spanyol said...

I think more updates and will be returning. I have filtered for qualified edifying substance of this calibre all through the past various hours.

1/13/2014 05:08:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home