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Guatemala: Indigenous communities demand the Monsanto Lab be repealed

On Sunday, a group of indigenous organizations in Guatemala demanded the Monsanto Law be repealed and announced demonstrations against the Guatemalan Parliament today. 

The Observatory of Indigenous Peoples, in conjunction with the National Alliance for Life movement and over twenty social, indigenous and human rights organizations, spoke against the Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties at a press conference on Sunday. 

That legislation, adopted on June 26, establishes and protects the intellectual property of new plant varieties in the country and allows patenting genetic tangible and intangible heritage. 

Local media and social organizations have dubbed the law as the Monsanto Law, in reference to the transnational firm Monsanto, which is dedicated to developing new genetically modified crops. Activists say the firm could become the exclusive owner of local varieties. 

Indigenous organizations announced they would ask the Constitutional Court to repeal the law, which takes effect on 26 September. 

The Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties was adopted as a requirement for the free trade agreement between Central America, Dominican Republic and the United States signed in 2005. 

Source: Agencia Efe

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