About 15 thousand years ago, the world’s first farmer had the idea of saving the seeds from one year’s crop and planting them again next year. And that’s how farmers did it for thousands of years after that.
Today, Monsanto is claiming patent rights over seeds — the fundamental source of all plant life — so it can charge farmers royalties for doing what people have done for thousands of years.
It’s already charging millions in illegal royalties in Brazil. It’s suing farmers in the U.S. And in India it’s jacked up the cost of seeds so much that it’s contributing to an epidemic of suicides among bankrupt farmers.
The latest front in Monsanto’s war on farmers is Canada, where a bill is flying through parliament to give corporate agribusiness long-term patent rights over seeds. And if it win heres, Monsanto will use trade agreements to force other countries to abide by these patent claims as well.