VIIth Session of the International Seed Treaty : Let’s Not Sweep Peasants’ Rights to Seeds Under the Carpet

Press Release

Kigali, October 30, 2017: The 7th meeting of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) begins today in Kigali (Rwanda). At a time when patents on genetic information have been alarmingly eased by new genetic technologies, the risk that this Treaty be entirely overturned is major.

Delegations from La Via Campesina and the IPC (The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty*) have travelled to Kigali to incite government representatives in taking the right decisions and actions if the current Treaty is to be saved from obliteration.

Indifferent to the fact that peasants contribute enormously to reproducing and increasing seed diversity each year, these patents currently allow the privatization of all gene bank-saved seeds as well as those on the farm. This is contrary to the objectives of the Treaty, that aim to make seeds available to ensure healthy, adequate and local food production and to face global challenges prompted by climate change, the needed phasing out of toxic pesticides, social-economic crisis and wars.

La Via Campesina urges the ITPGRFA governing body to prohibit the patenting of genetic information – and of any other measure limiting the access and use of all plant genetic resources of the Multilateral System – as well as to fully implement peasants rights to save, use, exchange and sell seeds, as specified in the preamble and Article 9 of the Treaty.

La Via Campesina Delegation in Kigali – Rwanda

To reach the delegation please contact :

Marciano Silva (ES, PT) +55 49 99199 5595 or Stefano Mori: (EN, FR, ES) +39 347 596 6424

* The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty is an autonomous and self-organised global platform of small-scale food producers and rural workers organizations and grass root/community based social movements to advance the Food Sovereignty agenda at the global and regional level. The organizations participating at the international level to the IPC are: La Via Campesina (LVC), World Forum of Fishers People (WFFP), World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers (WFF), World Alliance Mobile Indigenous People (WAMIP), Mouvement International de la Jeunesse Agricole et Rurale Catholique (MIJARC), {The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations – (IUF)}, URGENCI, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), World March of Womens and International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC).