Multinational corporations: Corporate crimes & transnational accountability

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Multinational corporations

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This week, WDM called on the UK Government to stop the backing the corporate takeover of seeds in Africa and beyond, and to protect the seed sovereignty for farmers instead. In just a few days, we’ve got cross-party support from MPs who have signed a ‘Seed Sovereignty’ early day motion in Parliament.

“The origin of food is seed. Whoever controls the seed controls the entire food chain.” – So says Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah of Food Sovereignty Ghana, summing up what is at stake when the Plant Breeders Bill, aka ‘The Monsanto Law’ is considered by the Ghanaian parliament next week. The Plant Breeders Bill will allow big businesses to have legal ownership and control over seed varieties they claim to have developed. This will increase the power of large seed corporations to push expensive seeds that farmers will then become dependent on. This law, if passed, will see the systematic substitution of traditional varieties of seed, widely saved and traded by farmers, with uniform commercial varieties; seeds controlled by big business.

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Last night I was defending the proposition that wealth needs to be aggressively reduced, alongside Jeremy Corbyn MP and Adam Swift at Warwick University.

This is more or less what I said: 

In January, Oxfam found – looking at on 2013 figures – that the 85 richest people in the world, had the same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest. That’s half the world’s population. Just last week Oxfam released new research showing that the number of billionaires had doubled between 2009 and 2014, while most of the rest of the world was facing welfare cuts, recession and falling levels of real income.

In March Kasia Moreno from Forbes updated the figures and found the situation had changed. Now it only took 67 of the richest people to match the wealth of the 3.5 billion ‘poorest’.

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