Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

Monsanto Law: Monsanto claims ownership of seeds in Ghana

November 24, 2014
Ghana protests Monsanto Law

Ghana protests Monsanto Law

If you are a farmer, you save your seeds, even more so if you are a subsistence farmer. It is part of what you do, it is what farmers have done for generations. Save the seeds from the harvest, selecting out the best seeds from the best crops, sowing the seeds, looking after the crop, harvesting the crop, saving the seeds, and so the cycle repeats itself season after season.

By this process of selection, farmers select what is best suited to their land, their environment, their climate.

It results in many thousands of varieties, not a handful of varieties that make agriculture prone to disasters.

With the rapid change occurring under climate change, we need this wide genetic variety.

Sometimes disaster strikes, the crop fails. In parts of the world when this happens, farmers bring in seeds from another farm, another village, they still plant their own saved seed, but they will also plant the new seed.

In Ghana, this upsets the profits of Monsatan aka evil Monsanto. How can they sell seeds if farmers insist on sowing their own seeds? How can they sell their nasty chemicals, if farmers have crops that are performing well, when generations of farmers have selected seeds that suit their farm, their locality.

Monsanto has the answer. Outlaw the saving of seeds, then farmers have no choice than to buy from Monsatan, Monsanto Law as it is known. Under the Monsanto Law, farmers that use seed varieties claimed under new intellectual property rights by individuals and companies anywhere in the world risk hefty fines or even imprisonment.

Corrupt politicians in Ghana, like corrupt politicians everywhere, are for sale to the highest bidder. they will happily enslave their own country, so long as their own pockets get lined.

What is happening in Ghana, is part of a trend across Africa, industrialisation of agriculture, food produced not for local mouths to be shipped to Western markets.

Please sign the petition calling for the scrapping of Monsanto Law.

The UK as a member of G8, is one of those countries under the guise of Third World aid, is pushing Monsanto Law via New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which in essence is a global corporate land grab for Africa, colonisation Mk II.

Please ask your Member of Parliament to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM 466) on Food Sovereignty.

In Guatemala, large-scale protests forced its government to cancel a similar law restricting the use of indigenous seed. We can do the same in Ghana.

Monsanto is the epitome of evil.

Terminator seeds will mean a few huge corporations totally control the global food supply

January 13, 2014
Who controls our seeds?

Who controls our seeds?

Under pressure from big commercial farms, the Brazilian parliament is about to hold a vote that will allow companies like Monsanto, Bayer, and others to start selling so-called ‘suicide seeds’ to farmers. The genetically modified seeds can only be used once, forcing small farmers into buying seeds from Monsanto or others over and over again — literally forever.

The use of these seeds is essentially prohibited under a UN treaty on biodiversity which over 193 countries, including Brazil, have signed. But if Brazil overturns its own ban then this will have huge consequences. Poor, small farmers could be locked into a cycle of endless debt and dependency — and the rest of the world could be handing control of the global food supply to a handful of companies. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

The parliamentary proposal has already been approved by some key committees and is now hurtling its way to a full parliament vote, which could happen in just a few weeks time — meaning we don’t have long to stop this proposal.

Please sign the petition to Brazilian lawmakers urging them to reject any attempt to overturn the ban on terminator seeds. Please share and tweet.

If the ban is scrapped, huge commercial farms will be allowed to use super fast-growing GMO crops, damaging neighbouring farms through cross-fertilisation. Small farmers will have to use the same terminator seeds just to compete — tying them into buying seeds from the likes of Monsanto forever.

If Brazil allows these dangerous seeds to be used, it will spark a global domino effect, as country after country race to change laws in order to stay competitive. Brazil’s decision could set the stage for the global ban on terminator seeds to be overturned when the UN treaty is renewed this year. It’s absolutely vital that we stop this move in its tracks.

We’ve come together in the past to take on huge agribusinesses like Monsanto before. We’re fighting Bayer and Syngenta in their attempts to overturn Europe’s ban on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. We’ve taken on the might of Monsanto when we campaigned to stop it receiving the World Food Prize. Now we need to demand that Brazilian lawmakers reject attempts by giant corporate landowners and agribusinesses to allow the use of these dangerous suicide seeds.

Please tell Brazilian lawmakers that the world is depending on them to keep the ban on ‘terminator seeds’.

Contrary to the view peddled by global corporations like Monsanto, it is not industrial agriculture and agribusiness that feeds the world, it is ordinary farmers who from harvest to harvest save their seeds.

In Peru, indigenous people have reclaimed one million hectares, hectare by hectare. Practising traditional agriculture, they are producing 40% of the food in Peru.

More than half of the food we eat in the world, is produced by the people themselves, not by agribusiness, not with the help of Monsanto.

A more detailed article can be found on Medium.

Who owns seeds?

December 5, 2013

Traditionally farmers saved their seeds, a proportion was held back, not eaten, these were sown the next sowing season.

Slowly, slowly, the seeds were selected for what best suited the local growing conditions. We had diversity.

In some parts of the world, if there had been a crop failure, they would introduce seeds from further afield.

Since the mechanisation of agriculture, where we once saw many hundreds of varieties of seeds grown, we saw reductions to a handful of varieties.

We have seen crude attempts to outlaw many of these varieties.

Global companies want to take this a stage further. They wish to own the seeds. Farmers sign a licence agreement, they buy a package, the seeds, the chemicals, and no they cannot save the seeds for the next season.

Vandana Shiva: “Seed, Food, Guts”

September 30, 2013

We’ve created an agriculture system of untasty and unhealthy food, and we consider it smart. — Vandana Shiva

In her presentation at MAD3, author, seed activist, and eco feminist Vandana Shiva described how decades ago she got the gut feeling that she needed to leave the world of physics (she has a PhD in quantum theory) to fight against industrialized and commodified food systems. Although she had published work on seed freedom early in her career, she felt that wouldn’t be enough. “If you’re serious and honest,” she says, “you can’t just analyze something.”

At the symposium, Shiva provided a dizzying array of data to describe how monocultures result in food that is both unhealthy and not nearly as tasty as it could be. “They claim that they are feeding the world,” said Shiva of those who push the Green Revolution, “but it is actually small farmers who account for 72 per cent of the world’s food.” She condemned companies like Monsanto for having the gall to patent seeds (“Patents are for inventions, not for life”), and described how pesticides and genetically modified foods harm both the land and the people that consume the crops.

She also alluded to the nefarious efforts some of these corporations have made to maintain the status quo, like pushing out scientists whose data doesn’t support their agenda, and charging royalties for seeds that can push farmers to the brink. To support the latter point, Shiva referenced the staggering suicide rates among farmers in India.

Perhaps because she was addressing an audience made up primarily of chefs, Shiva emphasized how being guided by deliciousness can actually help the problem. According to her, instead of deluding ourselves with the promise of things like Golden Rice, we should support indigenous agriculture so we have a world of diverse, unpolluted, and tastier foods to draw from.

Shiva called on chefs to note on their menus that they don’t serve genetically modified crops. Referring to her 40 years in the seed freedom, she said that chefs were actually among the first people to speak out against GMOs and patented seeds. “There has to be food freedom,” she said. “How can it be manipulated, how can it be poisoned?”

Thanks to Martha and David Payne and NeverSeconds.

Vandana Shiva – The Future of Food and Seed

December 23, 2012

I have met Vandana a couple of times and have one of her books on water. A wonderful person and a great speaker.

Hoe Mama

April 17, 2012
Listen with your heart

Listen with your heart

 pull dem weeds

pull dem weeds

spiritual war

spiritual war

Make your own path

Make your own path

Hoe Mama is a concept.

Hoe Mama is a community.

Hoe Mama is a gardener of people.

Hoe Mama is a cultivator of minds.

Hoe Mama is planting the seeds of love across the world.

Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto

September 18, 2010

from Democracy Now

Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto: The Story of a Canadian Farmer’s Fight to Defend the Rights of Farmers and the Future of Seeds

also see

Genetic Engineering – Paradise on Earth or a Descent into Hell?