The ITPGRFA (1) has decided to withdraw from its partnership with DivSeek, a consortium of agricultural research centers that organizes biopiracy at global level. This is the first victory of Via Campesina, which in 2014 denounced this planning of the flight of all the seeds of the world, before being supported in 2015 by many “southern” governments and NGOs.
DivSeek was set up with money from the World Bank to carry out the genetic sequencing of all the seeds held in the genebanks of the various countries of the planet.
It then publishes these sequences accompanied by information on the characters of interest of the plants concerned. The seed industry then has only to recover this information to confiscate all the peasant seeds. It is enough for him to file patents on their genes and the particular characteristics to which they are linked. These genes existed long before the industry’s search engines could identify them, but the industry claims to have invented their discovery in order to patent them.
The free access granted by DivSeek to this information is a blatant violation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the ITPGRFA. These international agreements prohibit patents that may restrict access to seeds from public genebanks. That is why the governments of the member countries of the ITPGRC have demanded that he withdraw from Divseek.
But today, 66 agricultural research centers, mostly public, are still partners (2). Governments must put an end to this collaboration. The Peasant Confederation calls on the French government to demand the immediate withdrawal of INRA and CIRAD, who are still members of DivSeek.
THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BECOME DIVSEEK PARTNERS BY ENDORSING THE DIVSEEK CHARTER:Africa Rice – Africa Rice Centre, Côte d’Ivoire AAFC – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada ACPFG – Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, Australia AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria ANU – Australian National University, Australia APPF – Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, Australia AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK BECA – Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa, Kenya BGI – Beijing Genomics Institute, China Bioversity – Bioversity International, Italy BLE – Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung), Germany CATIE – Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and Education (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza), Costa Rica CIAT – Centro Internacional de Agricultural Tropical, Columbia CFF – Crops for the Future, Malaysia CGIAR CO – CGIAR Consortium Office, France CIMMYT – International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo), Mexico CIP – International Potato Center (Centro Internacional de la Papa), Peru CIRAD – Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), France Clemson University, USA Cornell University, USA CRA – Agricultural Research Council (Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura), Italy cROP – Common Reference Ontologies for Plant Biology, USA Cyverse, USA Dalhousie University, Canada Earlham Institute, UK EBI – European Bioinformatics Institute, UK EMBRAPA – Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária), Brazil ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), World Food System Center, Switzerland FZJ – Research Centre Julich (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Germany GCDT – Global Crop Diversity Trust, Germany Genome British Colombia, Canada Genome Canada, Canada Genome Prairie, Canada GPC – Global Plant Council, UK IAARD – Indonesian Agency for Agriculture Research and Development, Indonesia IBBR-CNR – Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources – National Research Council (Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), Italy ICARDA – International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Syria ICBA – International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, UAE ICCI – Institute for Cereal Crops Improvement (Tel-Aviv University), Israel ICRAF – World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya ICRISAT – International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, India IITA – International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria INRA – National Institute for Agricultural Research (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), France IPK – Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung), Germany IRRI – International Rice Research Institute, Philippines ISU – Iowa State University, USA JHI – James Hutton Institute, UK KAUST – King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Center for Desert Agriculture, Saudi Arabia NIAB – National Institute of Agricultural Botany, UK NIAS – National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Japan NIG – National Institute of Genetics, Japan NordGen – Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen är en Institution under Nordiska Ministerrådet), Sweden QAAFI – Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Australia Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK UBC – University of British Columbia, Canada UC Davis – University of California, Davis, USA UGA – University of Georgia, USA UMN – University of Minnesota, USA UM – University of Missouri, USA UNIBO – University of Bologna (Università di Bologna), Italy UNIVPM – Marche Polytechnic University (Universitá Politecnica delle Marche), Italy USASK – University of Saskatchewan, Canada USDA-ARS – United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, USA VicDEPI – Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Australia Wageningen UR – Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands
Guy Kastler, Seed Commission : 06 03 94 57 21
Laurent Pinatel, Spokesperson: 06 80 58 97 22
Elina Bouchet, Communication: 06 95 29 80 78
1 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture