Thank you Phiya for sending us this important report by F. William Engdahl called Iraq and Washington's 'seeds of democracy'. An excerpt:
"In May 2003 Paul Bremer III, was put in charge with the imposing title, Administrator, of a newly created Coalition Provisional Authority or CPA... As head of the CPA, Bremer moved swiftly to draft a series of laws to govern Iraq... One of the Orders mandates that no elected Iraqi government will have the power to alter the US-imposed laws. The new laws, or Orders, as they were called, would insure that the economy of Iraq would be remade along lines of a US-mandated 'free-market' economic mode... This ensured unrestricted foreign business activities in the country. Investors could also take 100 percent of the profits they made in Iraq out of the country. They would not be required to reinvest and they would not be taxed...
Buried deep among the Bremer laws was Order 81, 'Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law'. At the heart of Order 81 was the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) provision. Order 81, states: 'Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties or any variety mentioned in items 1 and 2 of paragraph (C) of Article 14 of this Chapter.'
In plain English, this gives holders of patents on certain plant varieties, i.e. large foreign multinationals, absolute rights for 20 years over use of their seeds in Iraqi agriculture. The protected plant varieties are Genetically Modified or Gene Manipulated (GM) plants, and an Iraqi farmer who chose to plant such seeds must sign an agreement with the seed company holding the patent that he would pay a 'technology fee' and an annual license fee for planting the patented seeds.
Any Iraqi farmer seeking to take a portion of those patented seeds to replant in following harvest years would be subject to heavy fines from the seed supplier. Iraqi farmers would become vassals, not of Saddam Hussein, but of multinational GM seed giants.
Iraq is part of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, where the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers created ideal conditions for crop cultivation. Iraqi farmers have existed since approximately 8,000 B.C. and had developed the rich seed variety for almost every variety of wheat used in the world today. They did this through a system of saving a share of seeds and replanting, developing new naturally resistant hybrid varieties through the new plantings.
For years, the Iraqis had held samples of such precious natural seed varieties in a national seed bank, located, ironically, in Abu Ghraib, the city made infamous as a US military torture prison site in 2004. Following the US occupation and various bombing campaigns, the historic and invaluable seed bank in Abu Ghraib vanished, a possible further casualty of the Iraq war...
Order 81 on Intellectual Property Rights, was not negotiated between a sovereign government and the WTO, or another government. It was imposed on Iraq without debate, from Washington. According to informed Washington reports, the specific details of Order 81 on plants were written for the US Government by Monsanto Corporation, the world's leading purveyor of GMO seeds and crops..."
Please read the whole report here.
By the way, according to a scientific study we read in the journal Science last year, all "domestic cats" (hate that term) alive today are supposedly descended from ancient ancestors who roamed the area that now includes Iraq. So all you apathetic cats out there, why not put those stupid TV remote controls down and do something about the exploitation of your ancestors' home town.