The Null Device

US Order 81

Apparently, one of the US-imposed laws in Iraq gives multinational agribusiness a monopoly on seeds. It is illegal for Iraqi farmers to save seeds from their crops, and the only seeds they can buy are genetically-engineered ones from Monsanto and such. Which should keep the profits flowing healthily back to Head Office.

There are 5 comments on "US Order 81":

Posted by: billy http:// Sat Feb 5 17:06:11 2005

thats crap!

Posted by: toby http:// Sat Feb 5 20:35:44 2005

The facts, as I've been able to ascertain them, are that:

a) this protects distint, new, varieties of plant.

b) this clause means no IP protection for the seed stocks that currently exist, and almost default protection for anything that America imports (GM or not).

c) Seed stocks in Iraq have been decimated, and to replenish them, American contractors will use IP protected American stocks, rather than drought resistant stocks from the region.

d) The planned crops are aimed squarely at hauling Iraq into the global economy (bad thing? not sure).

All this adds up, in effect, to what you described above. Farmers will be able to plant their own seed, but if any of it starts to show characteristics of IP protected seed, they can be sued. If they choose to plant it (and there will be strong incentives to do so), they aren't allowed to save seed from IP protected crops.

I think this will significantly erode the traditional way of life of farmers in Iraq, and I don't like the possibility of GM materi

Posted by: toby http:// Sat Feb 5 20:36:09 2005

...and I don't like the possibility of GM materials being foisted on countries without their permission. It also looks like a really shallow attempt to outsource America's farming industry.

Posted by: gjw Sun Feb 6 02:13:53 2005

Strange irony, when the first domesticated varieties of those very plants were grown in Iraq 9,000 years ago.

Posted by: Digby http:// Sun Feb 6 18:06:33 2005

it's about time those iraqis bought american!