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In 2011, the Colombian authorities authorities stormed the warehouses and trucks of rice farmers in Campoalegre, within the province of Huila, violently destroying 70 tonnes of rice which it stated were not processed in accordance with the law. This militarised intervention to destroy farmers’ seeds shocked many people, and inspired one younger Chilean activist, Victoria Solano, to make a movie about it.

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One of the most serious assaults Mexican farmers are currently dealing with is the push to introduce GMOs into the country, particularly maize. Maize is by far crucial crop for Mexicans, not solely because it’s the staple of their food regimen, but in addition because it is central to the tradition and lifetime of peasant and indigenous communities. Although Mexico is presented as an impressive instance of agricultural modernisation brought about by the Green Revolution, 80{3f2e30b7ce373fba3104e5c6db51f05795439efb754b4f707436b26fa7beec87} of the maize which is grown in the country comes from the native seeds that Mexican farmers continue to make use of. This is despite 20 years of the North America Free Trade Agreement’s having gone far in imposing an industrial model for agriculture and the privatisation of sources. In recent years, El Salvador embarked on a Family Farming Programme which includes a policy of distributing local maize and bean seeds to small-scale farmers. However, the initiative led to difficulties with the US government, which felt it ran afoul of the US-Central America free trade settlement.

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Since it was proven, in 2001, that imports from the US had already contaminated native Mexican maize, farming communities have paid higher consideration to the seeds that they use and to the place those seeds come from. They are cautious to keep away from contamination from GM varieties, which they fear might come in by way of government seed programmes, corresponding to people who encouraged farmers to commerce in their native seeds for business hybrids.

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Upon purchasing seeds, farmers are required to signal prolonged contracts often known as “know-how use agreements”. These contracts prohibit farmers from saving seeds and, amongst many other intrusive provisions, permit firms to entry the farmers’ data which might be held by third parties, such because the US government. As early as 2003, Monsanto had a department of 75 workers with a finances of $10 million dedicated to the only function of pursuing farmers for patent infringement. By December 2012, Monsanto had filed 142 lawsuits alleging seed patent infringement involving 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses in 27 states, and it had acquired over $23.5 million from patent infringement lawsuits against farmers and farm companies.