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The International Treaty of Seed – FAO refuses to collaborate in biopiracy: INRA and CIRAD must do the same!

15 February 2017

The ITPGRFA has decided to withdraw from its partnership with DivSeek, a consortium of agricultural research centers that organizes biopiracy at global level. This is the first victory of Via Campesina, which in 2014 denounced this planning of the flight of all the seeds of the world, before being supported in 2015 by many "southern" governments and NGOs.

The International Treaty of Seed - FAO refuses to collaborate in biopiracy: INRA and CIRAD must do the same!   Confédération paysanne Press Release   The ITPGRFA (1) has decided to withdraw from its partnership with DivSeek, a consortium of agricultural research centers that organizes biopiracy at a global level. This is the first victory of La Via Campesina, who in 2014 denounced this plan to abduct the seeds of the world and was later supported by many NGOs and governments of the Global South.   DivSeek was set up with money from the World Bank to carry out the genetic sequencing of all the seeds held in the genebanks of the various countries of the planet.   It then publishes these sequences accompanied by information on the interesting traits of the plants concerned. The seed industry then has only to recover this information to confiscate all the peasant seeds. For them it suffices to apply for patents on genes of these seeds and the particular traits to which they are linked. These genes existed long before the industry's search engines could identify them, but the industry claims to have invented their discovery in order to patent them.   The free access granted by DivSeek to this information is a blatant violation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the ITPGRFA. These international agreements prohibit patents that may restrict access to seeds from public genebanks. That is why the governments of the member countries of the ITPGRC have demanded that it withdraw from Divseek.   But today, 66 agricultural research centers, mostly public, are still partners (2). Governments must put an end to this collaboration. The Confédération paysanne calls on the French government to demand the immediate withdrawal of INRA and CIRAD, who are still members of DivSeek.   Contacts:   Guy Kastler, Seed Commission : 06 03 94 57 21   Laurent Pinatel, Spokesperson: 06 80 58 97 22   Elina Bouchet, Communication: 06 95 29 80 78   Photo Credit Nyeleni Europe ------- 1 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 2 http://www.divseek.org/partners/