Leaked TPPA documents show that farmers will be stopped from saving some seed from their crops to grow again and may face other restrictions, as the National Government signs away farmers’ rights as part of the deal, the Green Party said today.
“The National Government is more interested in protecting big agribusiness and overseas interests than it is the farmers of New Zealand,” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning.
New Zealand will be required as part of the TPPA to sign up to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991, which extends the intellectual property rights to seed companies.
“Farmers will be trapped into buying new seed each season that could cost thousands of dollars, rather than save seed from the previous year’s crops.
“These seed companies are being given carte blanche to drive farmers and growers into high-input farming, whether they like it or not.
“Farmers could be trapped into using plant varieties like herbicide-tolerant swedes that use dubious technologies, that then require farmers and growers to buy their IP protected herbicides and pesticides.
“These aspects of the TPPA are a rort in favour of agribusiness at the expense of our clean, green brand, our advantage over our competitors, and the people who work hard to grow and produce our quality food,” said Mr Browning.