This document is the product of a collective effort by a group of Central American and U.S. women and men. It is part of a comprehensive public-education campaign on the
U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) being carried out by Central American and U.S. organizations in the Bloque Popular Centraomericano and the Hemispheric Social Alliance.
Intellectual property rights were important to chemical firms in nineteenth century Europe and to US and European pharmaceutical companies in the twentieth century. The relationship was one of mutual importance. Because these companies wanted intellectual property rights, especially patents they took an interest in lobbying governments on their design.
The Free Trade Agreements concluded between the four member states of the European Free Trade Association ¬(EFTA) - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - and a number of developing countries contain provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) which go far beyond the obligations already imposed on these countries in the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Last month, GRAIN issued an open letter to Pascal Lamy, the chief of trade policy at the European Commission. In it, we disputed Mr Lamy’s public relations efforts aimed at trying to convince the world that the EU champions the rights of Third World farmers to save seeds.