This issue has been kept under wraps, but fortunately was recently made public by the National Farmers Union.
If our Federal government agrees to pass this regulation for these corporations, Canadian farmers will no longer be able to save their seeds. They’ll be forced to buy new seeds every year from the controlling corporations and pay royalties. Or even if they save their own seeds, they will still be required to pay royalties to the corporation as if they had bought new seeds. Trying to prevent farmers from saving their seeds has huge implications for the farmer and the consumer. Those who control the seeds control the food supply and control the world.
Seed saving has been done by every culture for thousands of years. Seeds are a common good, like water, air and soil. Seeds should never be allowed to be patented by any company or corporation for any reason...The above story is no joke. It is very real. Our food security is at risk. The diversity of crops is at risk and so is our health due to the actions of these companies.
It has already happened with the genetically modified seeds (GMOs). GMO seeds are inserted with a gene from unrelated species. Genes are introduced into the cell of a plant using a gene gun and every GMO food has antibiotic-resistance genes. This has resulted in less diversity in crops throughout the world, as well as bankruptcies and suicides among farmers as they become indebted to these corporate seed giants. (Read Seed Sovereignty, Food Security by Vandana Shiva.)
Farmers are the doctors of the land. We depend on their knowledge for our very survival. This knowledge needs to be passed on to the next generation. If farmers go bankrupt, our food supply is at risk. It’s time that our government stands up for farmers and consumers.
I like to urge people to stand up for the right to save seed. For more information, from the National Farmers Union see www.nfu.ca
Or write to your MLA. The Elgin Women’s Institute has also written in support of the farmers and citizens. I cannot do it alone, I need your help.
Moranda van Geest, Elgin