Seeds and Food Sovereignty in Europe and beyond
Many people talk about Seeds and Food Sovereignty these days. The way I understand this, it is or includes the right to grow the varieties we choose and share their seeds unrestricted. The right to grow our own food. The kind of food we choose. And by doing so, also preserve these varieties. Some of them have been with man since the dawn of agriculture. Many of them are hardier and more resistent than the ones modern industrial breeding has come up with recently. Usually they are also better adapted to the local conditions they used to be grown under.
Yes, they often lack uniformity and are therefore less easy to market and trade at a large scale.
Prevailing legislations have increasingly imposed restrictions onto these genuine strains and varieties, mainly by their whitelist approach to permissable seed distribution. Whatever is registered on the list is permitted, everything else is outlawed. Genuine strains and varieties do not enjoy industrial sponsorship and therefore do usually not get registered. So, they become outlawed.
Had they not been with man for centuries or even millenia there would be nobody here to pass or not pass any law!
There is also an open letter to european officials, signed by many organisations and individuals, You may want to read and, possibly, sign it.(before May,2nd 2012, www.seedforall.org )
Now, two things come into my mind.
The one thing is a vague memory of having been taught at school that the people, the citizen, hold the power.
No, I'm not getting into this. Just for the record.
The other thing is the fact that rights and liberties are gained and retained by exercising them. We all should start to grow some of our food, and be it only a single parsley plant in a pot at the window sill. It doesn't matter.
We all should make very informed choices about what we grow and how. And we should exchange and share our seeds whenever possible.
Man has only the rights he can defend.
And man deserves only the rights he is willing to stand up for and exercise.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
Join our mailing list:
Connect with us:
Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA