La Via Campesina receives a prize for its seed campaign

The work of La Via Campesina, an international organization of peasant movements, was recognized as "The Best Defense of Food Sovereignty" for its global seeds campaign, which began in 2003 and strengthened small farmers all over the world. The prize is awarded annually by the Coalition Against Biopiracy, a group of organiziations of civil society.

The main protagonists of biopiracy (the process of robbing genetic resources and traditional and cultural knowledge from the people of the world), received the Captain Hook Prizes on Friday March 24, during the International Conference on Biological Diversity (COP8) in Curitiba (PR). Businesses, people, governments, and projects that exploit the resources preserved by traditional people from farming communities were denounced in this prize. Those who struggle against the acts of biopiracy all over the world received the Cog prize, named for the ships that fought off the pirate attacks.

The multinational corporation Syngenta Seeds was among those awarded the Captain Hook prize, since it is accused of planting transgenic seed illegally in Brazil and using the Terminator patent, which prevents the birth of seeds. In the category of "Most Greedy", the winner was the scientist J. Craig Venter, for having carried out "a global biopiracy expedition" to collect and patent natural organisms throughout the world. The government of the United States won the prize for the "Most Shameful Act of Biopiracy". George W. Bush imposed laws of intellectual property over plants in Iraq, which makes it illegal for Iraqis to use seeds collected from new varieties, thereby threatening the food sovereignty of that country.

The group that insisted during the COP8 on allowing Terminator technology, composed of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, won the "Axis of Evil" prize.

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