Mon Oct 2nd-16th - Free The Seeds Fortnight

Alison Banville alisonbanville at
Mon Oct 1 18:23:01 BST 2012


October 2nd to 16th is Seed Freedom Fortnight. Starting on the anniversary of Ghandi's birth and ending appropriately on World Food Day, there are two weeks to get out and partake in a wide range of seed related actions. But why should you dig it?

We spend a lot of time at SchNEWS banging on about political and economic slavery and injustice, fighting the system, protesting the military-industirial complex et cetera et cetera, but all this depends on one thing; that people are alive to face these things. And the main reason for this (OK, alongside water and air, which haven't yet been fully destroyed / annexed and privitised yet but it's perhaps only a matter of time) is, of course, food. And all food is plant based. Everything eaten on each either grows, or eats something that grows, or eats something that eats something that grows (even discounting the unnecessary, destructive, inefficient and ultimately cruel consequences of humans participating in the latter two).

And planet Earth has evolved a great system of food. Food has adapted (and yes, has also slowly been adapted) to grow perfectly well all by itself in every local ecosystem. It grows to maturity and offers its bounty up to be eaten, along with a free miracle package capable of reproducing and growing to be another similar plant – a seed. Lay it on the ground (or in some animal poo) and hey presto! More food just grows anew! Its so simple and elegant and successful, hundreds of millions of years in the making.

But western corporations long ago decided that that was all rubbish and they should interfere with nature and life at will, with little or no understanding of the ultimate consequences to life's delicate symbiotic balance, just so long as there's potential for making the people who own the companies loads of money by doing so.

Having already saturated the planet with agri-chemicals – ultimate damage to the ecosystem incalculable - since the advent of GM companies like Monsanto have been thinking bigger. Why not get the middle man to interrupt the process of life itself and then own and sell the right for life to continue? Stop nature giving away that perfect profit-opportunity for free! It all sounds so obvious, safe and, er, wise when you put it like that, doesn't it?

Hence in recent years the appearance of 'terminator' seeds, genetically modified to create sterile plants and, simultaneously, a drive to push for the patent and 'copyrighting' laws needed to own species of life and outlaw seed saving. A recent European Court of Justice judgement supported the EU wide control of seed varieties and the crackdown on anyone engaging in traditional variety seed saving practices, designed to stop them from sharing their preserved diversity.

This drive to economically force use of a small number of corporate-controlled seed varieties has led to an estimated 75% loss of (food species) varieties to have been lost in the past century.

While the spectre of GM galvanised a big wave of activism which scored notable successes here in the UK and elsewhere, nonetheless globally the companies have built an expanding multi-billion dollar GM empire and they are still marching ahead with the big seed takeover.

Mass resistance is needed on a global scale – it's no accident that Ghandi's birthday was chosen to kick off this call out for heightened awareness and action. A determined refusal to allow this self-evident madness to prevail is urgently required. As our main Mahatma said, “An unjust law is itself a species of violence” and of the course the classic, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

So what are you waiting for? Fertiliser? Join (or organise!) marches and protests at offices of seed multinationals, patent and government bodies. Go guerilla gardening with a backpack full of seedbombs. particpate in seed swapping. Plant the seeds of disobedience and help the resistance er, sprout and grow. Peoples' right to live off, and in harmony with, the ecosystem they evolved in is right that er, superseeeds any attempt to constrain it.

For more details, nurture your knowledge here and Join the Global Alliance for Seed Freedom

Excellent Schnews article on this crucial issue:

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