Chatting this morning with a party member from the inside of the agriculture process here at the COP15 I have been even more inspired about the promotion and advancement of organic. The language inside the negotiations appears to be following the natural path toward more sustainable and agro-biodiverse systems. However, I have been warned, the powerful lobbyists from the chemical corporations are putting lines in there wherever possible about patents and technologies.
Farmers have a fundamental right to save seed and they need to be honored for that role and to have that right protected. The phrase for today is ‘No Patents on Life’ – Shout it from the rooftops -Walk in the streets with it on a sign. Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and the gang are here inside the COP15 pushing as hard as they can to get rights to these technologies written in to the language of the international agreements. On the one hand we need to band together with those lobbyists to get agriculture on the agenda but it is imperative that patents on life are excluded.
Saturday at the ‘Agriculture Side Event’ here at the COP15 United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack mentioned organic agriculture (which is fundamentally opposed to genetic engineering). The mention was in passing and related to healthy food and part of a statement about the problem of obesity in the United States. Nevertheless the mention is a win for organic. Today IFOAM is supposed to have a press conference at 1400 and a side event tomorrow at 1630. If we are allowed in and these things take place it will be a good opportunity to talk about the farmers right to save seed and IFOAM’s position on genetic engineering.
Read up on it. Spread the word.