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Trade Agreements Profit Corporations at the Expense of Democracy

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Vandana Shiva is a former university professor turned anti-GATT activist, who now directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. Shiva asserts that the mega-merger just announced between pharmaceutical giants Ciba-Geiger and Sandoz demonstrates how large multinational firms are desperate to monopolize so that they can maximize their profits, gaining ever larger market shares and ever more control of resources. Shiva also accuses drug companies of claiming ownership of folk knowledge and traditional medicines that people have freely accessed for centuries, and patenting them for their private gain. She says that global trade agreements such as GATT undermine democracy, turning every service and commodity into an international trade item, and every person into a citizen of the corporations.

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