I think I should perhaps apologize to Seedsavers Listmembers for my very emotional reaction to Andrea's post on this subject. I was deeply horrified by the implications of what Andrea posted, but that is no excuse to let it come over the keyboard so strongly phrased and into the list discussions - I don't usually do that. My sincere apologies for it.
No doubt like many others, I had no idea this situation had occurred in Iraq, and in -eek- way back in 2004!!
IMO, to have someone else attempt to deny your ability to grow/access your own food means that your life is in someone else's hands. You have handed them the ability to starve you (And your family). And IMO it means that they want it that way, to ensure their profit. I always ask myself "Why do they want it that way? It is clear that their agenda is not humanitarian.".
I realize that we all can think and that I don't need to point that out. I guess I'm still reeling..
So I went looking for further information, in an attempt to find positive courses of action, and found this article whose link is below.
Apparently, this "law" is something left behind as a kind of "mandatory guideline" from a time when sovereignty was supposed to be returned to Iraq (Look at Iraq- Has that happened yet??), and this thing is only law because the Iraqi people haven't changed it yet. It is apparently called "Order 81".
It is clear to me (And I am sure to all on this list) that if the Iraqi people *don't* change it, their remaining traditional seedstocks will get sucked into a flurry of new-patented plant varieties eventually, and contamination and cross-pollination will take care of the rest, eventually leaving the Iraqi folks bereft of their unaltered traditional seeds.
"...When former Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator L. Paul Bremer III left Baghdad after the so-called "transfer of sovereignty" in June 2004, he left behind the 100 orders he enacted as chief of the occupation authority in Iraq. Among them is Order 81 on "Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety." [1
] This order amends Iraq's original patent law of 1970 and unless and until it is revised or repealed by a new Iraqi government, it now has the status and force of a binding law..."
The article is a good read.
The *good* news is, as soon as the Iraqi people revise or repeal this thing, it's gone. The bad likelihood is, they're probably too busy staying alive to address it.
I am looking for more current info on this and will post when I locate it.
It is a *possibility* that this has already been addressed by the Iraqi people.
I am hoping it has.
BTW I also recall seeing somewhere on the WWW an appeal from one of the Middle-Eastern countries for seeds, IOW the people were asking for seeds. If I can re-locate that I'll post it too. I'm pretty sure the country was not Iraq.
Apparently it has always been the tradition of Iraqi farmers to save their own seeds for planting in the following year, and it has been a national practice- It seems to me that there is a good source of information in traditional Iraqi practices, for how to integrate seedsaving into our own social systems more thoroughly and effectively.
Not only for farmerfolk, but for urbanites and everybody else.