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Mother Earth vs. Monsanto

http:////www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_don/?bVcOrbb&v=23900

Dear Avaazers,

It's unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to gain exclusive control over the seeds of life – the source of our food. They're trying to patent away varieties of our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, virtually forcing growers to pay them for seed and risk being sued if they don't.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto's greedy plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto's hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:

http:////www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_rb/?tGufiab

 Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they'd use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, biotech companies are getting patents on the seeds and then charging farmers exorbitant royalty fees. And farmers can't even save patented seeds for replanting the next season -- Monsanto has sued hundreds of them for practicing the age-old art of seed-saving and plant breeding. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:

http:////www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_rb/?tGufiab

The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it's time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.


With hope and determination,



Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team

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From AVAAZ, Feb. 2013

Big banks are hiding billions in tax havens around the world. Bankers are using complex accounting tricks to avoid paying tax like the rest of us, and they're not even required to tell us where their money is. But now the European Parliament wants to shine a light onto their tax avoidance. It's a no-brainer reform that expert economists widely support.

It's crazy that when governments across Europe are strapped for cash, banks are free to squirrel away their money around the world without telling anyone where it is. Using accounting tricks that serve no one but themselves, they can set up their accounts so almost all of their profits are declared in tax havens where they don't have to pay their fair share -- even when those billions are earned here in Europe.

European Parliament's proposal is a key step in the struggle to hold tax avoiders to account. It's called "Country by Country Reporting", and means they have to break down their accounts by each country they operate in, rather than just provide one meaningless, global number.

European banks face tough disclosure rules (New Statesman):
http:////www.newstatesman.com/business/business/2013/02/european-banks-face-tough-dislosure-rules

Country-by-country reporting is making progress despite the UK (Tax Research UK):

http:////www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2013/02/20/country-by-country-reporting-is-making-progress-despite-the-uk/



Barclays secret tax avoidance factory that made £1bn a year profit disbanded(Guardian):

http:////www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/11/barclays-investment-banking-tax-avoidance

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