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'Monsanto Law' Brings Uproar to Chile

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Protesters filled the streets of over 10 cities in Chile on Saturday to march against what has been dubbed 'Monsanto Law,' a measure critics say risks the country's food sovereignty while putting seeds in the hands of a few multi-national corporations.

The law, set into motion by former President Michelle Bachelet, is currently making its way through the parliament, and would give seed patenting rights to corporations such as Monsanto, the I Don't Want GMOs in Chile campaign ( Yo No Quiero Transgenicos en Chile) explained.

Joel Gonzalez, a representative from the campaign, said that the measure was an attack "against agricultural practices of peasant communities" who weren't even consulted about the proposed law but could be slapped with fines from the corporations for violating the seed patents.

"This law puts seeds into the hands of a few transnational companies," added Ivan Santandreu, a member of Chile without GMOs ( Chile Sin Transgenicos). "This measure does not contribute to the innovation and wellbeing of independent farmers at all. What it does is put food sovereignty at risk by making it dependent on big corporations," he told Radio Universidad de Chile.

TeleSur adds that critics say the law would prevent the saving of seeds and would increase the amount of time corporations have over the rights of hybrid and GMO seeds in the country.    

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