Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"

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La Voz | 29 August 2014

Translated from Spanish by bilaterals.org

Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"

Move follows protests by social movements and peasants. Bill would legalise plant breeders’ rights in this country.

By the LaVoz editors

The Constitutional Court (CC), the highest legal body of Guatemala, provisionally suspended today the entry into force of the controversial "Monsanto Law" which would legalise property rights over plant varieties in Guatemala, official sources said.

The decision was adopted by the magistrates after a writ of amparo was filed by the Guatemalan Union, Indigineous and Peasant Movement, which demanded a derogation on grounds that the law would harm the country.

The resolution of the Court says that the article stipulating the law’s entry into force as of 26 September is now suspended.

The decision also gives the parties 15 days to present their arguments to the CC about the law, which was approved by Congress last June.

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The Court’s decision was adopted one day after several parliamentarians expressed their willingness to consider a derogation, given the rejection of the law throughout the country.

Both the governing Patriotic Party (PP) and the opposition party Renewed Democratic Freedom (Lider) announced that they would present motions to the plenary of the Legislative Body to prevent the law coming into force on 26 September.

The law foresees prison terms of 1 to 4 years and penalties of 1,000 to 10,0000 quetzales (US$130 to $1300) for anyone who reproduces seeds that are patented in Guatemala.

The approval of the law was one of the obligations the State of Guatemala acquired when it signed the 2005 free trade agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States (US-DR-CAFTA).

source: La Voz

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"9-November-2014 | Nell

    Why are you saving seeds patented by Monsanto?

    Why are you using them?

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"27-October-2014 | gloria estrada

    sorry for my thinking ! but what the is monsanto doing where thay don’t belong? see! this is the kind of dirty buseness that creats wars, if they can’t sell you their garbage! they’ll make it hard for you to live! this is the evil thats! spreading across the world ! and your talking proffit?

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 | jen

    They are making a profit. The CEO made 11,000,000 in 2009 alone. Maybe they need to make a little less profit by not picking on the little guys.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 | Karen

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but surely the restriction on saving seeds only applies to specific seed varieties developed by Monsanto? So if farmers want to continue using and saving their traditional seed varieties, there wouldn’t be any issue with that.

    Monsanto are a business, not a charity, so it’s not surprising (nor, in principle, unreasonable) that they should want to make a profit from their research & development. It may be that they are trying to make excessive profits from people who can ill-afford their prices, but that seems to be a separate issue from the one being discussed here.

    My point is that if you believe that GE seeds are potentially a good thing, then you either have to accept patenting or propose another way in which the companies producing them can recoup their R&D costs and make a profit. If, on the other hand, you believe that GE seeds are fundamentally wrong, wouldn’t you be better off petitioning the farmers not to use them, thus sidestepping the issues of patented seeds altogether?

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 |

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 |

    Time to withdraw from the US-DR-CAFTA, or at least stop using all Monsanto products.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 | Shafia Stevens

    Yes all of the above... we can curse and complain but we need to help by donating even a small amount, if we all give together then they can fight like with like!

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 | Frankie Vandellous

    Please do what Canada, Australia, the US, and other nations have failed to do, and stop this monster in its tracks!

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"26-October-2014 | Sean Higgins

    I think that it is unjust and illegal that an American Multinational corporation can think that a tradition that has been carried out by generations of Guatemalans for years can suddenly become the "property" of companies like Monsanto! This is part of Guatemalan culture that has been handed down through generations. It can never become the property of anyone else no matter how big and mighty they may see themselves!

    ¡Fuerza a la gente humilde de Guatemala y a sus niños del futuro! ¡Estamos con ustedes!

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Alex

    The biggest problem with ge seeds and the above mentioned re-seeding is that ge or gm plants produce infertile seeds so collecting seeds wont work as they will not germinate ,thereby allowing more seed to be purchased EACH CROP that needs to be planted ,If you dont believe me then try planting some of your seeds from store bought vegetables ,especially corn.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | david schlosser

    Do NOT let big American Agro-business bully you. Save your seeds and do as you have done for centuries. You are smarter than the Americans and every other nation that buys into the hype and grandness of Monsanto. Guatemala; show the world you will not stand for your right to food being stomped on.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Toni

    Good for you for standing up to Corporate Greed. Keep your people safe from the ooison they are trying to feed you. 1/2 of my family in the US has gotten cancer, all different kinds, all parts of the country. Don’t let them bring it to you. It’s as bad as Ebola, only takes years instead of days to destroy your body.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law" re: growing unauthorised seed25-October-2014 | M.G.

    Countersue ! YES! They, (monsanto) just jumped your fence, and PLANTED THEIR SEEDS ON YOUR LAND! That is called TRESPASSING! You did not invite them, and they just did major harm by poisoning YOUR LAND. FRIKKING DO SOMETHING!!!!

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Tom J. Deiters

    I like to point out that it is the indigenous people of Mexico and Central American (predominantly called: The Maya) who more then 3000 years ago were able to hybridize two indigenous grasses into what is now called Maize (corn).
    It is a horrendous insult to the present people of Mexico and Central America to claim property rights over maize. If anyone should have the brutality to consider to lay these claims, then it should be these nations. No one else.

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Charles Batten

    Not ONLY inHUMANE, it is CRIMINAL for monsanto to seek to patent property ’rights’ over plant varieties.

    ESPECIALLY as they will NOT be exercising due control of the CONTANIMATION to other plants which WILL spread from ’their’ doctored varieties, and SHOULD be prosecuted by International Governments for doing so.

    monsanto’s ultimate intentions are far worse than ANYTHING previously designed by similar entities who have desired the SUBJUGATION of ALL Humankind.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law" re: growing unauthorised seed25-October-2014 | Toni

    Corporations have deep pockets and an army of lawyers; individuals from a poor village don’t stand a chance because they don’t have the means to fight.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Jan Yttereng

    Monsato should ask themselves why they sell seeds. Is it because the seeds are used to reproduce and multiply itself? Monsato may have patented the original seed, but I don’t see how they have patented what happens next? Did they invent growing plants? Or do they just benefit from a not patented technology?

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Chris Clark

    Anton, if you look up the term ’psychopaths’, you will find a large part of the answer to your question.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Jean Vidler

    Those marketeers in Monsanto who claimed that GM seeds would help end world hunger ... remember all that? Monsanto the monster, a company without a conscience.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"25-October-2014 | Xainah

    Do not back down, ever. Be in this fight until the end.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law" re: growing unauthorised seed24-October-2014 | Ian M

    "Should a GE seed germinate, as a result of being wind blown, on a neighbouring farm that has not brought growing GM plants the farmer on whose land the wind blown seed landed on is deemed to have broken the law by growing unauthorised seed"

    Could said farmer not countersue for trepass/pollution of his land?

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law" re: growing unauthorised seed24-October-2014 | Ian M

    Could said farmer not countersue for trepass/pollution of his land?

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"23-October-2014 | Hannie Reijndersa

    Monsanto destroy the world, nature, the water , flora, animals, and people are poisoned

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"20-October-2014 | Hemi

    For the Monsanto Law to have been passed initially smacks of corruption of those charged with protecting the very people the law would punish - shame, shame, shame.

    This is typical of Monsanto. Should a GE seed germinate, as a result of being wind blown, on a neighbouring farm that has not brought into growing GM plants the farmer on whose land the wind blown seed landed on is deemed to have broken the law by growing unauthorised seed. In other words he is guilty until proven innocent (Australia).

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"8-October-2014 | Lynda MacHaila

    There are criminals that go to a bank with a gun and, take money, they go to jail. There are others that commit crimes of grater consequence to individuals and to the world and, they make big money. Where is the wisdom that is in charge of our health and welfare. Where are those that we’ve elected to take care of us, our children and, the children of the world?

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  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"7-October-2014 | ANde

    and what kind of people support a company like this??
    We all do!! look around your home and your closet Monsanto is written all over them unless you are very, very selective. We all need to stand up to this abhoracious (yes, my word) company.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"7-October-2014 | anton french

    I find it the idea of a corporation being able to control food in this way abhorrent.
    What kind of people would work for such a disgusting company.

    Reply to this message
  • Guatemalan court suspends "Monsanto Law"4-September-2014 | chantal theroux

    Wow!!you impress me people of guatemala!!here in canada we think that you are a very intelligent nation don’t let them take a your land and poisonne it!!! Lots of love keep fighting!!!!:)

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