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22 de octubre de 2014 | | |

Reasons behind the resistance against the Monsanto Bill in Argentina

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Tamara Perelmuter is member of the resistance campaign against the growing influence of agribusiness, seed and agrotoxic transnational corporation Monsanto in Argentina.

The bill that covers the so-called "plant breeder rights" is referred to in Argentina and other Latin American countries as the "Monsanto bill" since it responds to the privatization of phytogenetic resources that this transnational corporation is promoting at local level.

Even though the bill has not been considered yet by Congress, Tamara Perelmuter, researcher at Buenos Aires University, several social movements have raised the need to abandon the bill before it is formally discussed.

According to Tamara, the bill covers the breeding, production and commercialization of seeds and the resistance against it is based on the experience of Chile, where the pressure by peasant and rural movements in general caused it to be dropped from the agenda.

The advance of agribusiness and its impacts of concentration and standardization of production, logging and loss of peasant and family farms, is associated to the control over seeds, said the activist in an interview with Real World Radio´s collaborator in Mexico, Monica Montalvo.

"Basically, what is being discussed is that farmers are no longer authorized to save their seeds and the aim is to privatize their relationship with seeds", said the Argentinean activist.

Tamara also highlighted that the counterpart of this bill is the "criminalization of those farmers who don´t follow this bill", i.e. peasant-indigenous farming in Argentina. She added that the passing of this bill would set a dangerous precedent for other countries of the region.

In addition to the fact that this bill represents its interests, Monsanto has numerous investments in Argentina, among them a seed storage and treatment mega-plant for GM maize near Cordoba city.

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