The Green Party endorses International Seeds Day on April 26, calls for the repeal of Order 81 making Iraqi farmers dependent on US firms

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States has endorsed International Seeds Day (ISD, http://www.INEAS.org/20090426_PR.pdf) on April 26, which will mark the fifth anniversary of the passage and signing of Order 81 by Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Order 81 (http://www.trade.gov/static/iraq_memo81.pdf) prohibits Iraqi farmers from reusing seeds harvested from new varieties introduced in Iraq and registered under the law. According to the law, farmers are banned from saving such seeds and required to pay royalties to the holder of the patent on the seed — an American corporation. The Iraqi constitution has historically prohibited ownership of biological resources.

“Order 81 has made farmers in Iraq — who have planted since 7000 BCE — dependent on companies like Monsanto. We call on President Obama and Congress to repeal Order 81 immediately,” said Sanda Everette, permaculture designer and a co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

“Monsanto has a record of selling pest-resistant seeds that have been genetically engineered for sterility to farmers around the world, rendering the farmers permanently dependent. Order 81 has turned Iraq into a feeding trough for favored US corporations, just as the Iraqi hydrocarbon law gives US and British oil companies control over most Iraqi oil. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq have proven to be an exercise in death and destruction for the sake of corporate pillage,” said Ms. Everette.

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