New Zealand has apparently passed a law relating to food which is of great interest to anyone growing their own (whether meat or vegetables or anything medicinal). The link below explains how the law makes it a state-granted privilege, not a right, to grow and trade (or swap) seeds and food.
Such laws will happen here in Australia too, but it's arguable that they're designed purely to enhance the interests of big multinational corporations like Monsanto. It's very hard to see how they could enhance the interests of a population subject to the laws. Indeed, if food safety really is the issue, why is the distribution of seeds subject to the new law?
There's not much point feeling sorry for New Zealanders because it's merely a matter of time before the laws are introduced here. If gun-toting police can raid an organic shop in New Zealand, rest assured, they will eventually be able to raid a chicken breeder's backyard under similar laws here.
Ever since the 1990s corporations have been among the top ten global economies. They have revolving door access to governments, and as the Kevin Rudd issue shows (deposed by mining corporation pressure through media influence) they can effect regime change. I shouldn't be surprised by the extent of corporate power over lawmaking, but I can't help feeling depressed by the speed with which our global landscape is being incorporated.
Most frighteningly, the drive for profit has no boundary, no upper-end. There's never a point where corporations say 'enough' -- just look at battery chickens. Corporations aren't happy enough with seven week broilers; they're constantly looking for ways to make the process cheaper and shorter. They're genetically modifying broilers as we speak. So rest assured, we haven't seen the last of the encroachments on our age-old human rights... After all, to a mega-corporation obsessed with profit, what's the difference between a battery hen and a human being?