|Farmers launch massive
agitation against new patent law [India News]
Web India, updated 2 Feb 2003 http://www.webindia123.com/news/m_details.asp?newscode=91263&catcode=ENG3&subcatcode=
New Delhi, Feb 1 Several agitating farmers' organisations
and trade unions today announced February 26 as a day
of countrywide agitation with a march to parliament
followed by a "Beej Satyagraha" to oppose
the new 'anti-people' patent law.
Flaying the new law which came into effect from January
1, Dr Vandana Shiva, the Director of Research Foundation
for Science, Technology and Ecology said, ''it sneaked
in through an ordinance dated December 26 last year
and it totally introduces seed totalitarianism at the
hands of the big multinationals.
"It jeopardises every farmer of this country who
has for centuries used a part of his crop as seed and
exchanged it as the new law does not differentiate that
seed with a genetically modified one. In other words,
the farmer will have no right to sow his own seed on
his own land as some trait of his seed could be a patented
one for which he can be sued," she said.
Announcing the decision to launch a "Beej Satyagraha"
on Baisakhi day, the harvest festival, which falls on
April 13, Ms Shiva said, "how can they talk of
a re-enactment of the Dandi march in Sabarmati and in
the same breadth take away from the farmer his right
to his own seed."
Talking of the other aspects she said, "there
are no clear definitions on several issues in the ordinance.
The pharma and the software industry are the two other
areas which will be badly hit which is why we will fight
it tooth and nail. If we cannot prevent the parliament
passing the bill which will be introduced this budget
session we will openly defy it."
Speaking to the press Mr B K Keayla, Convener National
Working Group on Patent Laws, said, "There were
no expert consultations or discussions done and several
of the earlier recommendations have in fact been done
away with. The Mashelkar Committee report which had
said that patenting should to applicable only to new
molecules has been done away with the scope of patentability
being too wide." [India News]