16 December 2016
- Around the world, plant breeders are resisting what they see as corporate control of the food supply by making seeds available for other breeders to use.
Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space. For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many different kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on. But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more and more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding. The patents weren’t just for different types of lettuce, but specific traits such as resistance to a disease, a particular shade of red or green, or curliness of the leaf. Such patents have increased in the years since, and are encroaching on a growing range of crops, from corn to carrots — a trend that has plant breeders, environmentalists and food security experts concerned about the future of the food production.
A determined fellow dedicated to the millennia-old tradition of plant breeding, Morton still breeds lettuce — it just takes longer, because more restrictions make it harder for him to do his work.
18 April 2014
- A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.
It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.
12 March 2014
- While having a nice stash of freeze-dried, dehydrated and canned foods is great fall-back, nothing can replace fresh crisp garden vegetables and fragrant, sweet fruit. Increasingly, it is incumbent on individuals to maintain their own supply of life-sustaining seeds.
Seed vaults are not a new concept and had its roots 40 years ago over growing concerns for maintaining bio-diversity. A decade ago, it became mainstream when the global seed vault in Svalbard, Norway took center stage. It is just one of some 1,400 seeds banks around the world. Bet this puts a crimp in Monsanto's Day! As of 2010, in that location alone, more than 500,000 unique seeds rest waiting to bail out humanity.
So what is the chance that the ordinary human would ever have access? Zip. Zero. Cero. Nada. Zilch. Sero. Nulla. Náid.
This one vault of hundreds is in place to serve the global elite, not us.
16 July 2013
- The Law of The Seed was recently released at Terra Futura, Florence, Italy, as a tool to be used by citizens everywhere and in every context to defend their seed freedom and seed sovereignty, as well as to provide a practical guide to all future development of laws and policies on seed.
Dr Vandana Shiva Introduces The Law of The Seed:
“Seed is the essence of life. It is also the first link in the food system. Control over seed is control over food.
Control over seed is today being shaped by new laws that are being written by the very corporations that are destroying the diversity of seed and the freedom of our food. The biggest player in the control over seed is Monsanto.
7 June 2013
- It seems the government is taking over everything, virtually all plants, vegetables seeds and gardeners are to be registered by the government. What’s even more disturbing is that all heirloom seeds will be criminalized. This means that saving seeds from from one generation to the next will become a criminal act!
25 November 2012
- A great online resource for learning to save seeds and maintain your collection. Seeds are life, and with the assault on our food system growing stronger day by day, it is more important than ever that individuals take on the responsibility of preserving nature’s most critical information.
A list of seed Monsanto free seed companies is also provided.
- Farm Wars has updated their list of seed companies that provide organic and heirloom seed varieties. These companies have no ties to biotech interests, and do not get their seeds from Monsanto. This list is a work in progress...