Email from the SumOfUs group. SumOfUs was created to leverage the global consumer power of our 5 million members to take on multinational corporations that have gotten too big for any of us to take on alone.
What happens when small farmers in Guatemala save seeds from one year to the next, as they have for centuries? They get up to four years in prison.
That’s according to the “Monsanto Law,” which was recently struck down by Guatemala’s highest court.
But now Monsanto is saying the law is required under free trade deals, and it’s likely only a matter of time before it launches a wave of lawsuits to force Guatemala to give in.
Developing nations like Guatemala have no chance against a corporate superpower like Monsanto — that’s why we’re standing with Guatemala and fighting to stop the expansion of trade deals that allow this kind of bullying.
For centuries, farmers have saved seeds from one year to the next. But Monsanto now claims that seeds are its intellectual property — and it will use trade deals to force countries like Guatemala to give in no matter what their courts say about it.
This is a classic example of how Monsanto and other multinational corporations use trade agreements to bully sovereign governments — and as we speak, it’s pushing for new trade deals like the TTIP and the TPP, which would expand its powers to stampede over the rights of people even more.
The approval of the law was one of the obligations the State of Guatemala acquired when it signed the 2005 free trade agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States (US-DR-CAFTA). – See more at: http://www.bilaterals.org/?guatemalan-court-suspends-monsanto#sthash.QRajIOKK.dpuf
On Thursday, (4 September 2014), Guatemalan lawmakers voted 117-111 in favour of repealing the ‘Monsanto Law,’ a provision of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the United States.
It remains uncertain what options Guatemala has given the conditions of trade agreement, and could risk Guatemala’s inclusion in CAFTA-DR.
In El Salavador.
El Salvador is a recent example of corporate domination in U.S. foreign aid. The United States will withhold the Millennium Challenge Compact aid deal, approximately $277 million in aid, unless El Salvador purchases genetically-modified seeds from biotech giant, Monsanto. The Millennium Challenge Corporation is “a U.S. foreign aid agency that was created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004,” according to Sustainable Pulse, and serves as a conduit for foreign aid funds.
Note TTIP (America and EU) trade deal has not been ratified.