STAFF REPORT ISB: The Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) opposed the federal governments process to approve the proposed Seed Amendment Bill 2014 and Plant Breeders Rights Act.

“Representatives from farmers network and civil society argued against certain provisions of the amendment bill 2014 particularly those related to seed breeding,” said Dr Shahida Zia, a representative from Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) at a press conference in Islamabad.

She demanded open and effective consultations involving small farmers, civil society, experts on international law and representatives of national institutions.

Dr Shahida said that according to the proposed bill, no unregistered person or institution will be allowed to stock, sell or barter or otherwise supply any seeds without official permission and the sale of unauthorized hybrid and semi-hybrid seeds will be banned.

She cautioned that if passed this bill will allow the multinational corporations to produce basic seed for its multiplication and certification, and also set up accredited seed testing laboratories.

“It allows them to register GM varieties with some conditions but has no damage clause included, if the GM varieties found damaging for human health and environment,” she added.

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