- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
FTAs could hurt farmers, too
DNA India | 11 December 2009
FTAs could hurt farmers, too
Priyanka Golikeri / DNA
Mumbai: After generic drugmakers, it’s the farmers who are feeling the heat of the intellectual property (IP) regime.
The free trade agreements (FTAs) being negotiated by the government with European Union (EU) and Japan could put the rights of both at stake.
According to individuals closely tracking the FTAs, both EU and Japan are pressing for India to join the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants - 1991 (UPOV).
Should India accede, Indian farmers could turn into pawns in the hands of multi-national companies engaged in crop research.
The FTAs are also pressing heavily for stricter IP measures for patented drugs, including provisions like data exclusivity and patent term extensions, which can impact early entry of low-cost generic drugs.
Shalini Bhutani, regional programme officer, Asia, of GRAIN, a non-profit working to support small farmers, feels the FTAs will cost small farmers their freedom. "FTAs, which mandatorily require countries to become members of UPOV, will lead to further curtailment of the natural rights of the farming communities and make them subject to the economic rights of corporates."
Joining UPOV would crush farmers’ privileges of sharing, exchanging and selling seeds to other farmers.
Blame it on the provision of plant variety protection (PVP), which guarantees IP protection to the plant varieties developed by MNC agriculture companies.
"Farmers will be allowed to sow PVP seeds only on their own fields, and save them for future use only if allowed and on payment of royalty to the agriculture corporates," says a New Delhi-based IP expert.
Bhutani, too, feels signing FTAs will amount to signing away seed and food sovereignty.
Experts feel UPOV goes beyond what is required by the trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which India is a signatory to.
"While laws under TRIPS are draconian, those being institutionalised through FTAs are nothing short of undermining whatever little protection is available to farmers in developing countries," says Bhaskar Goswami from the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security.
"It is still a matter of grave concern whether Indian negotiators will resist attempts like those which call for greater IP and how far they will succeed," says the New Delhi-based IP expert.
News from the movements
23-Feb-2017 S2BPosición de la red S2B sobre la propuesta de la Comisión Europea relativa a un mecanismo multilateral para la solución de controversias entre inversores y Estados (ISDS)
23-Feb-2017 Tele SurOver 280 organizations from around the world sent an open letter to Canadian-Australian mining giant OceanaGold demanding that the company adhere to an earlier ruling that ordered the company to pay the government of El Salvador US$8 million
20-Feb-2017 S2BGlobalisation is at a dangerous crossroads. One path leads to regained policy-space for governments to address climate change, inequality and other pressing issues of our times. The other leads to more rights for corporations to bully decision-makers.
18-Feb-2017 Le DauphinéAlors que le CETA vient d’être ratifié par le Parlement européen, Grenoble organise samedi, après Barcelone, les 2e Rencontres paneuropéennes des villes contre TAFTA - CETA – TISA,
17-Feb-2017 bilaterals.orgEl Coordinador de la Coalición nacional senegalesa “No a los AAE” nos habla de dos proyectos de libre comercio en relación con África: los Acuerdos de asociación económica y la Zona continental de libre comercio
16-Feb-2017 Une Seule Planète
Mouvement citoyens et pouvoirs locaux : quelle alliance pour construire les alternatives aux accords de libre-échange ?La logique des accords de libre-échange est celle d’une croissance infinie des richesses, d’une nature inépuisable d’une capacité exponentielle de l’Humanité à mobiliser le génie scientifique nécessaire pour minimiser les externalités sociales ou environnementales.
15-Feb-2017 RTThe European Parliament has approved a landmark free trade deal between the EU and Canada. Hundreds gathered in Strasbourg, France to protest the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
13-Feb-2017 We Move EuropeEste es un momento crucial para bloquear el CETA. Los eurodiputados tienen una última oportunidad de pararlo el miércoles… ¡pero la votación será reñida! Dile a los eurodiputados que no queremos peligrosos tratados en nuestras vidas.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.