Category Archives: privatisation

Two impressive TED talks on our food system

‘How I fell in love with a fish’- a quirky look at a Spanish model of environmental sustainability in food production.

This eleven year old boy’s critique of our food system is a fine piece Continue reading

Haiti & Food Sovereignty

This year’s earthquake drew people’s attention to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  The damage caused by the quake was made worse by the desperate living conditions of the majority of poor Haitians, poor building standards and the concentration of people in shanty towns in the capital Port-au-Prince.  But what lay behind this lack of development and dire poverty?  What made so many Haitians move from the countryside to the city?  The Haitian case is a prime example of many of the issues facing developing countries and the threats to their food sovereignty.

Those issues include farmers being undercut Continue reading

AFRI Hedge School

-Order 81 and the Destruction of Iraqi Food Sovereignty-

The Fertile Crescent is a region of the Middle East often called the cradle of civilisation.  It’s an area which comprises present day Palestin, israel, Syria and Iraq; it’s here that nomadic herders first settled to become the world’s first farmers. The crop varieties found in Iraq today are the result of 10,000 years of agricultural tradition during which time seeds have been saved and shared: replanting and cross-pollinating varieties has resulted in increased yields and better pest resistence.In the New Scientist in 2005, Fred Pierce spoke of a ‘genetic holy grail’ and the ‘ark of the lost seeds’ in reference to Iraq’s biodiversity and it’s importance for food security.
Clare O’Grady Walshe, former CEO of Greenpeace and current director of the Irish Seed Savers Association has just published a booklet documenting what Denis Haliday, (former UN assistant secretary general who resigned from his post of Head of the UN Humanitarian/Oil-For-Food Program in Iraq in 1998 protesting against the genocidal nature of the sanctions) has termed the ‘rape and pillage of food sovereignty’ by transnational corporations in Iraq. What she reveals is a story which may constitute the most insidious attack yet on the future welfare of the beleaguered Iraqi people.

–Listen to the Claire O’Grady Walshe interview (Oct 22nd) on Food Sovereignty, The Irish Famine and Order 81 on Pat Kenny here

What is Order 81?

Just before handing power over to the Iraqis in 2004, the US Proconsul L. Paul Bremer III, passed ‘100 Orders’ which made up the legal and institutional reforms ‘required’ to for Iraq’s transition to a free market economy.

Order 81 ‘Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, integrated circuits and plant variety’ amended Iraq’s existing patent law of Continue reading