Take Action for Seed Freedom

The world over, legal and technological structures are being put in place to ensure the control of seeds. This is simply because seeds are big business. And three very big businesses–Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta–now own over half the world’s seeds. And they’re fighting to protect their ‘property’ by stopping farmers being able to save seed, and deluging the market with bland but functional, hybridized and genetically engineered varieties where nutrition isn’t what’s important any more. But it’s not happening without a fight. This fortnight marks a global campaign to fight for our food rights by fighting for Seed Freedom.

Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom.

Corporations like Monsanto have created a seed emergency — an emergency through patents on seeds, seed monopolies, biopiracy, genetic engineering and creation of non-renewable sterile seeds. Seed monopolies have pushed 250,000 farmers to commit suicide in India. After contaminating farmer’s seeds and crops, Monsanto sues farmers “for stealing their gene”, putting the polluter pays principle on its head, and making it the polluter gets paid principle.

The multidimensional emergency created by patents on seeds and GMOs needs a global collective response. Collectively, we must stop the patenting of seeds. Join the Global Movement for Seed Freedom to stop the corporate hijack of seed and with it the hijack of our food and our future.

What is my contribution to the Seed Freedom Global Fortnight of Action?

I’ll be planting organic seeds – lots of different varieties that I know to have been grown by local gardeners for decades, I’ll be teaching others how to successfully grow from seed, and building more resources helping others save seed. I’ll continue work on the Kapiti seedbank. I have also signed Dr Vandana Shiva’s Declaration on Seed Freedom, and you can too.

Declaration on Seed Freedom – by Dr. Vandana Shiva

1. Seed is the source of life, it is the self urge of life to express itself, to renew itself, to multiply, to evolve in perpetuity in freedom.
2. Seed is the embodiment of bio cultural diversity. It contains millions of years of biological and cultural evolution of the past, and the potential of millennia of a future unfolding.
3. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every form of life and is the basis for the protection of biodiversity.
4. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every farmer and food producer. Farmers rights to save, exchange, evolve, breed, sell seed is at the heart of Seed Freedom. When this freedom is taken away farmers get trapped in debt and in extreme cases commit suicide.
5. Seed Freedom is the basis of Food Freedom, since seed is the first link in the food chain.
6. Seed Freedom is threatened by patents on seed, which create seed monopolies and make it illegal for farmers to save and exchange seed. Patents on seed are ethically and ecologically unjustified because patents are exclusive rights granted for an invention. Seed is not an invention. Life is not an invention.
7. Seed Freedom of diverse cultures is threatened by Biopiracy and the patenting of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. Biopiracy is not innovation – it is theft.
8. Seed Freedom is threatened by genetically engineered seeds, which are contaminating our farms, thus closing the option for GMO-free food for all. Seed Freedom of farmers is threatened when after contaminating our crops, corporations sue farmer for “stealing their property”.
9. Seed Freedom is threatened by the deliberate transformation of the seed from a renewable self generative resource to a non renewable patented commodity. The most extreme case of non renewable seed is the “Terminator Technology” developed with aim to create sterile seed.
10. We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve; as the freedom of human communities to reclaim open source seed as a commons.
To this end, we will save seed.
We will create community seed banks and seed libraries.
We will not recognize any law that illegitimately makes seed the private property of corporations.
We will stop the patents on seed.

 

Resources

Fortnight of Action Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/436131536428020/
Website: http://seedfreedom.in/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/occupytheseed
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/occupytheseed