From the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, OCA has been tracking the opportunities for Monsanto, a well-known war profiteer (Agent Orange, Vietnam), to take advantage of the current occupations. These include pushing glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup herbicide) for poppy eradication in Afghanistan and opening the Iraqi market to the patenting of plants and seeds while preventing farmers from saving registered seed varieties.
As Vanity Fair reported last year, "In Iraq, the groundwork has been
laid to protect the patents of Monsanto and other G.M.-seed companies.
One of L. Paul Bremer’s last acts as head of the Coalition Provisional
Authority was an order stipulating that 'farmers shall be prohibited
from re-using seeds of protected varieties.' Monsanto has said that it
has no interest in doing business in Iraq, but should the company
change its mind, the American-style law is in place."
In fact, Monsanto has already been doing business in Iraq. According to a 2004 USAID Transition Plan for the Agriculture Sector in Iraq, "All the major international players in the pesticide field are now present in Iraq: Dow (USA), Syngenta (Swiss), Dupont (USA), Bayer (Germany),
Monsanto (USA), Novartis, FMC (USA), Dupont and Uniroyal, BSF and Cynamide."
Monsanto's latest opportunity to do business in the US's occupied territories has been created by the National Guard's "Agri-Business
Development Teams." The Missouri National Guard, which
has maintained Agri-Business Development Teams in Nangarhar Province
in Afghanistan since fall 2007, hosted Safi Mohammed Hussein, agriculture director of
Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, on a recent visit to Missouri. While
in St. Louis, Safi toured the headquarters of biotech giant Monsanto.
Monsanto in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq.
Organic Consumers Association, September 2, 2009
Straight to the Source