On Friday 12th September to coincide with the WTO talks in Cancun, a group of 15 concerned citizens occupied a Bayer office and stopped work there, to demonstrate against the corporatisation of health and agriculture, and the impact of WTO patent laws on agriculture and medications. This solidarity action took place for 2 reasons.
Second, patenting of rice, maize, and other basic crop genes means that small-scale farmers in both the developing world and the rich west are no longer allowed to save seeds. Instead they will be tied into spending large amounts on buying seeds and pesticides from agricultural multinationals such as Bayer CropScience. As a result, farming for many of the world’s poor will become unsustainable and the trend towards large scale corporate farming enhanced.
Anna Quay one of the participants voiced her concerns:
“WTO patent laws, whether they concern drugs or plants are in the interests of large multinationals and rich nations. Their impact will be to increase world inequality, poverty, lack of access to cheap life-saving drugs, and wipe out opportunities for local subsistence farming.”
Photo to follow
For more information see:
www.iatp.org The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy