On December 23, the government of Venezuela banned the planting of genetically modified crops, and pushed tougher regulations on patenting seeds.
“The present Law has as its objective to preserve, protect, and guarantee the production, propagation, conservation, and free circulation and use of seed, as well as the promotion, research, distribution, and commercialization of the same, based on a socialist agroecological vision, with the aim of consolidating our food security and sovereignty, prohibiting the release, the use, the propagation, and the entrance into the country and the national production of transgenic seeds as well as the patents and right of the breeder over the seed, in a manner that is sovereign, democratic, participatory, co-responsible and in solidarity, making special emphasis on the valorization of the Indigenous, afro-descendent, peasant and local seed, that benefits biodiversity and helps to preserve life on the planet in conformity with what is established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Article 2 lays out the Seed Law’s six major goals:
1. Promote the transition from conventional systems of production based on monoculture and the use of agrochemicals with agro-industrial and/or corporate seed for conventional use, to an agroecological system and the preservation of the environment in the short, medium and long term, based on agro-biodiversity.
2. Promote the production of seeds that are necessary to guarantee national production, with the goal of avoiding importation and achieving national sovereignty.
3. Promote the transition to communal and eco-socialist agriculture, in order to protect agro-biodiversity by means of the production of local, peasant, Indigenous and Afro-descendant seed.
4. Revalorize and re-legitimize the local, traditional and ancestral knowledge wisdom, beliefs and practices of the peasant, Indigenous, Afro-descendant and other communities.
5. Prohibit the privatization of seed.
6. Orient the organization and planning of public policy in function of the different scales of production, distinguishing the policies intended for family agriculture or polyculture in small-scale production from the policies intended for big producers.
For more on the story, see Venezuela Bans GMO Poison–Ecowatch.com