The last time I used that title it was in reference to our government's support for breaking a moratorium on the use of terminator seeds -- seeds that are genetically altered to be infertile so that farmers can't replant seed garnered from the previous year's crop. The idea, of course, is to force farmers to buy new seed each year at whatever exorbitant price agribusiness wants to charge since it would then have a captive market.
Here's a variation on the same theme, from a website that's been set up to inform us all about the ongoing negotiations between our government and the EU on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
The trade deal would almost entirely eliminate the rights of farmers to save, reuse and sell seed.
Plant varieties can be protected as intellectual property through Plant Breeders Rights as well as patents on genes. The trade deal would give rights holders an unprecedented degree of control over seeds and farming by committing Canada to adopt UPOV'91, the draconian 1991 version of The International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties. The inclusion of UPOV'91 in the deal is completely unnecessary and is excessively harmful to Canadian farmers. Seed breeders would have the right to collect royalties on seed at any point in the food chain!
The draft of the trade deal also says that biotech corporations could seize the crops, equipment, and farms, and freeze the bank accounts of farmers who are deemed patent infringers, like farmers who find unwanted contamination in their fields.
Notice that our government isn't telling us much about these negotiations and so far there's certainly no public debate about them. I have a problem with that and you should too. I'm sure the large, multinational corporations are quite happy with the way negotiations are proceeding but they may be the only big winners from this. And if that's not the case, why isn't the Harper Government™ — normally so quick to advertise what it's doing on our behalf — keeping us better informed?
H/t to Toedancer at Bread & Roses.