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  • Specialist examines corn plants in the Monsanto research facility in Missouri, United States (Photo: Reuters).

    Specialist examines corn plants in the Monsanto research facility in Missouri, United States (Photo: Reuters).

In a close vote, Guatemala's Congress rejects genetically modified seeds in country's agricultural development. 

On Thursday, Guatemalan lawmakers voted 117-111 in favor of repealing the 'Monsanto Law,' a provision of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the United States.

The 'Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties,' called the 'Monsanto Law' for its seed-privatization provisions. The agreement requires signing countries to adopt the law and adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties.

Since last week, popular movements have taken direct action, blocking roads in several cities to call on their legislative representatives to dismiss the law. The law would have authorized stricter property rights and risked monopolizing agricultural processes in the country by placing copyrights on agriculture for the next 25 years.

Many Guatemalans saw the law as protecting the interests of Monsanto, the American transnational that has become synonymous compromising food security and sovereign agriculture production production.

It remains uncertain what options Guatemala has given the conditions of trade agreement, and could risk Guatemala's inclusion in CAFTA-DR.

teleSUR
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